Do you remember when every 1/2 birthday was a big deal? Birthdays, half or whole, don’t really matter too much once you are legally allowed to buy alcohol. But for a kid - it’s the added half year that makes them that much closer to being the next age. Maybe I’m one of the few parents out there that celebrate kids 1/2 birthdays but I have my own reasons for celebrating them. It could be because my kids’ actual birthdays fall during the Christmas season so I want to celebrate when there is absolutely nothing else going on. Or it could be because half birthdays break up the year which makes the time go by faster for the kids. Or it could be because my kids are able to see how much they have grown in the last 6 months. Or who am I kidding? I just like to celebrate and a half birthday is another great occasion.
My son got ripped off this year because on his half birthday I was out to dinner for a girls night out when I realized that it was his half birthday and I completely missed it. Whoops! But my daughter, who was determined for me to remember, had an official countdown to her half birthday. In previous years we have been out of town during her half birthday so each celebration has been unique because it depended on where we were on June 30th. This year we were home for her 1/2 birthday and she turned 9.5 years old. Oh have times changed - she now has a full blown wish list and she plans HER day.
Since we were home, I hung up, outside her bedroom door, the traditional banner that announced to the world that she is 9.5 yrs old and I wrote a happy 1/2 birthday greeting on her bathroom mirror so she could find it when she woke up and brushed her teeth. Her plans were to go to the American Girl store at the Mall of America and she also wanted to get a pedicure. Considering that we were leaving for our trip the next day I was very reluctant because I was pretty busy. But I decided to make the trip to MoA with her and I was really glad that I did. The time with her was precious and we were able to get what she wanted.
Even though my daughter used her own money to buy herself something at the doll store, I really would like to go back to the days when half birthday thoughtful pinches were simple. Like breakfast in bed or I have given a sand dollar that I found on the beach during my morning run or a dinner with family at Islands. Just very simple but special. What I would really like to do is make a list of the all things my kids could not do six months prior so they can see how far they’ve come. That would be treat for myself as well as for my children. For example, six months ago, my son could not put on his own skates for hockey. Now, not only can he put on his own skates but he can tie them (not well but we are working on it). Six months ago, my daughter never swam in a meet and in her first meet she earned two first place ribbons. I’m going to work on using these reminders as my thoughtful pinches because they are probably the only things we need to celebrate on a half birthday. Which means in the future, I may be able to skip the trip to MoA when I’m stressed about time!
It seems like so long ago when I read in my Parents magazine that a family celebrated their baby turning sixth months old with a 1/2 birthday cake. I fell in love with the idea because I thought that half of a cake is so much better than no cake and who wants to wait a year to have a whole cake? Celebrate the milestones, even if they are half. I wanted to copy this cake idea but my son was turning 9 months old at the time so I made a cake that was 3/4 (I just had 1/4 missing when I frosted it). Can you imagine if I started celebrating my kids 3/4 birthdays? I just keep giving Hallmark new opportunities to make more money.