For most of my children's lives, we have lived far far away from family. Some years, we've been fortunate to have my dad and sister Melissa, my mom, my cousin Valerie, or Grammy and Grampy over visiting during a birthday, but usually, we are alone to celebrate. And for this reason, I've tried to make birthdays (and special occasions for that matter) as special, exciting and memorable as I can. I try to come up with my own traditions (some stick, many don't!) to carry from year to year. One such tradition that I love to hold on to is special breakfasts (mostly because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! :o). Last year Nathan's birthday breakfast was toast with Nutella and sprinkles. This year it was chocolate chip pancakes and strawberries which Nathan was pleased to help me make. I also try to make their favourite meal for supper and I let them choose a cake from a cake decorating book that I make for their little party with friends. Yes, many of my traditions revolve around food. This is partly due to me being French Canadian but also because it's what I've been ABLE to do (especially here).
Another tradition that I started is to make the entire day a celebration starting of course with the special breakfast in the morning followed by opening a gift and a phone call to say thank you. Then the birthday boy gets to pick what's for lunch and then he opens another gift (followed usually with another phone call). I really enjoy doing this since it spreads the fun out and it decreases the mad rush to celebrate, open, assemble and play with all the new presents right before bedtime.
I've learned the hard way not to count on Brian always being home for special occasions. Sometimes he is and sometimes he's not. When we lived in Selkirk, he sometimes had to work late and here, in Coral Harbour, sometimes he gets called out (like last night right at dinnertime). I've learned that the show must go on, but thankfully, Brian didn't miss much of the festivities last night.
I think Nathan had a wonderful day. He is a very gracious little boy and was very good at sharing his "Life Saver" (ha! Light Saber) and other new toys with his brothers. He was so eager and "helped" me make the pancakes and prepare the hamburger meat for his anticipated birthday Cheeseburgers. He was very understanding when we told him we were going to have frozen pizzas instead since Brian and I thought the hamburger meat smelled kinda "off". He was thrilled to have birthday ice cream instead of cake. And he wasn't upset when we had to postponed his birthday party to next weekend because we were so sick. Yes, he's very easy going (stubborn as I'll get out, but happy-go-lucky) and he's our little chatter-box (I'm sure he makes up for 3 girls!). At one point during the day he asked me if he was four yet and I told him that yes, he was four years old now and he answered "but I don't see myself taller!?!?" Too funny. I didn't tell him that his mommy was a little sad because to her, he DID seem a little bit taller...