Tuesday, May 05, 2009

K & O's Bigger Than Big Birthday Bash


K & O's 5th Birthday Party was on Sunday. It was crazy fun. Crazy, crazy fun! We started this annual birthday bash the year they turned two. I was struggling to get past my own sadness over the emotions of their birthday. Of course, I'm happier than happy that they were born-- I mean, obviously-- it isn't hard to celebrate the day of their birth! But in the beginning it was a challenge for me, as an adoptive mom, to not think a lot about the fact that I wasn't there on the day that they were born, and that they were in the very difficult circumstances that they were on that day. Their birthday was full of mixed emotions for me. For me, their first birthday was a real struggle. I was weepy and emotional and still grappling with trying to sort it all out in my own mind. But a year later, the year they were turning two, they were really coming into their own, and we made a deliberate and conscientious decision to use their birthday as a way to truly celebrate that they were thriving. We chose to do it up big time and throw a huge birthday bash for all of our friends. It was a turning point. It made their birthday pure fun. It isn't that I don't still think of the sadness and loss related to that day. I do still think about that. And at this point, Kyle and Owen know enough to think about that too. But we have found a way to make their birthday very, very special and absolutely full of genuine joy. I am proud that for Kyle and Owen we have created a very positive association with the day of their birth. I hope that in the years to come, as they understand their own histories at deeper and deeper levels, that the happiness that is associated with their birthday celebrations will carry them through some of the tough times that probably lie ahead as they put their own stories together more and more in their minds. So, for the time being, we go all out for their birthday. It is a bash. A double bash. We do it big. Really big! And this year it was bigger than big!!!


56 kids
47 adults
6 drummers
2 photographers
------
= 111 people at the party

  • 1 dreary, drizzly, gray day
  • 111 very happy party goers
  • 2 birthday cakes frosted with big orange 5's
  • 1 pinata filled with 250 lollipops
  • 3 big buckets full of juice boxes, chocolate milks, and "squeezy drinks"
  • 2 gallons of Rum and 9 jugs of juice and 12 limes for the adults-only rum punch
  • 1 huge moonbounce with a 2 lane slide inside
  • 2 minor injuries but, (amazingly), 0 serious injuries
  • 1 drumming troupe
  • 40 pair of drumsticks for kids to bang on 60 various buckets, cans, and containers
  • 75 party hats
  • 30 helium balloons, 40 regular balloons, 16 punching balloons
  • 1 gigantic pile of presents
  • 50 bags of Smartfood and 50 bags of Sunchips and 1 huge container of pretzels
  • 10 candles total on the 2 birthday cakes
  • 2 super duper best ever grandparents
  • 2 happier than happy parents
  • 1 party lovin' baby
  • 2 could-not-be-happier, turning-5-year-old, gentlemen hosting the best birthday party ever

P.S. When we started throwing their Big Birthday Bash in 2006 I got one of my graduate students, a great amateur photographer, to come document it for us with photos. He did an awesome job of it (and Braydon and I could fully enjoy the party without having to worry about snapping photos). My student graduated and moved to NYC, but has come back each year to do the photography. This year he brought another photographer with him too. As soon as I get the photos from them I'll post more to the blog. For now, he just sent me the one above as a little photographic appetizer. :)

6 comments:

ShannonC said...

WOw! It amazes me how time flys. The pictures the past couple months have really shown that they are BOYS not LITTLE KIDS any more.

Gosh. I can not express how grateful I am to you for expressing your reasons and emotions you have made and lived through with your family. I've been told so many times that "oh, you have to be careful with birthdays with adopted kids". Your celebration feels so much more in tune and "right" than any other scaled down days being sensitive of the loss of the day. Of course, I don't know what will actually end up being right for our family yet, but your teachings, certainly have taught me so much more than I ever thought I would through this darn internet.

Happy Birthday to your beautiful boys. I can only imagine how excited they'll be to throw Miss M's party!

Kathrin said...

Happy Birthday from Germany boys!
Sounds like one super fun party!

Mark and Sarah said...

What an awesome celebration of two incredible boys! It would have been crazy neat to be a little fly on the "tree" to watch it all unfold. Can't wait to see the pictures!!

Single PAP said...

i keep clicking on your blog to see the photos and only one today! hoepfully more tomorrow. can't wait!

sounds like a lot of fun!!

MorMor said...

I love the picture of the boys. MorMor needs a copy please!!

S said...

I love reading your blog and was relieved to see you post today and say that everything went well for your boys birthday! I was wondering!:) Thanks again for sharing.
Congratulations to all!