A Summer of Birthdays

May is the bright, shiny month that kicks out the rain clouds and welcomes summer with trips to the beach, suntan lines, and showing the kids that we still know how to do a cannonball. It’s time to get outside and celebrate, especially here in the south, because there’s heat but it’s not to swamp-like conditions yet.

Five years ago I had my son in May. Last May I had my daughter. So now May means two birthday parties…a week apart.
Somewhere along the line I really dropped the ball when it came to math.
So I’ve got budgets and cupcakes, and why don’t I just combine the parties? Because I’m the eternal middle child that refuses to let anyone steal anyone else’s thunder.
So there’s a tea party to sort out and a backyard explosion of dinosaurs that needs to be put in line. My saving grace is that of most of the mothers I know these days; finding other, more crafty and organized moms who blog and stealing their ideas shamelessly as we attempt to construct our own magic with thrift store finds and homemade goodness.
There’s a back to basics evolution happening amongst this generation of plugged-in mothers. We’re aware, we’re sharing and we’re remembering our grandmother’s advice. The things that last were the things that took time and heart. We’re educated, diversified, and trying to build something for our children in a world of recessions, ridiculous gas prices, and overcrowded schools that can’t pay their teachers. And for a lot of us that means no longer relying on the quick and easy; the disposable way of getting things done. We’re teaching our children to recycle, we’re planting gardens, and we’re cooking and baking from scratch because the dirty word of the day is preservative. We want produce that is local and toys that were made in America, because we need our children to learn the value of our dollar, and to protect it. We are the mothers, we are not only creating, but rebuilding because necessity is the mother of invention.
So next month I will make magic for my kids and it won’t be something I had to cut out of plastic. I will give them both a day to shine and celebrate and their thunder will roar, and maybe mom will have done it all on a budget, but the day will ring with laughter, a cake I made with my hands, and we’ll take pictures, pop balloons, excavate dinosaurs out of ice and dress up in big dresses and funny hats. I’ll bust out my dance moves and dad will show off his infamous cannonball.
And maybe, hopefully, we’ll always remember the day.
Sometimes getting back to basics is as simple as remembering to put first things first, and first things never come wrapped in plastic.

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