Happy 18 Months!!!
As many of you know, Keegan’s birthday is Christmas Eve. We know people with December birthdays, and many of them report a variety of experiences from their childhoods. Some felt like their birthdays were an afterthought because of all the post-Thanksgiving/Christmas goings on. Others thought their parents diligently tried to make a go of a “real” birthday celebration but it was hard to get people involved/interested given all the other holiday preparations. A few reported that their parents, family and friends went all out for the birthdays in addition to going all out for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As you can imagine, Jen and I went for the unconventional approach. We decided to celebrate half-birthdays. On June 24th, Keegan was 18 months old. So we threw a party! We want him to know that he’s special — because he is. But we don’t want him to feel overlooked at Christmas time. So we’ll celebrate his birthday but we hope as he grows older he’ll appreciate what we’re trying to do with the June celebrations as well. Plus the focus of Christmas shouldn’t be about the haul of toys a kid gets. Why make it harder to pass on that lesson and add a birthday party to all that?
Jen assembled all of Keegan’s toys, 3 kiddie pools, several bubble wands, and a blow-up choo-choo/ball pit for kids to jump in. We set up all of this in the park across the street from our house. Jen sneaked over early on Saturday morning to fill the pools up with water before the clock struck 10:00 a.m. when the “outdoor watering” ban might have technically applied. She was very nervous about that. She’s not a fan of getting yelled at or even talked to sternly by police officers. I was in charge of picking up the food and setting up the coolers. We had 2 trays of chicken fingers because what kid doesn’t like chicken fingers? And a veggie tray for the adults. Because what kid likes a tray of veggies? I set out a cooler of water, a cooler of Capri Sun, a cooler of soft drinks and a cooler of adult beverages.
At around 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, about 20 kids and their parents descended on the park, and the good times rolled! Jen’s vision of having something for every kid came to fruition. Some were enjoying the cool water in the pools. Some had brought bikes or razors and were zipping around the park’s sidewalks. Some enjoyed throwing every ball that was in the train out onto the grass. Eventually, we got to the cake. Jen picked out a nice cake from Publix with a monster truck on it in honor of K-Man’s fetish for wheels! We had a bowl of Goldfish, a bowl of Nilla Wafers and a bowl of Cherrios as well — again because what kid doesn’t like a fistful of any of those three?!
In the end, I don’t think Keegan even knew what the occasion was or that he was the reason everyone was there, but judging by his flush cheeks, he had a great time. And that made it worth it to us!
Here are some shots from the day:
Just before the kids descend.
Keegan likes the bubble wands (that’s Jen’s dad on the right).