Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Forgotten Fourth Borns

Collin's birthday began with present opening. Suddenly, his three big brothers were SO interested in him.

Collin invited three friends over for a pizza and cupcake lunch (two friends brought a big sibling).

In pure-Collin style, we served a Batman cupcake cake.

Little friends hovered around the cake, eagerly awaiting a piece.

The cake was enjoyed and devoured!

Opening a few goodies.

After all his friends left, I took the two boys to the Holliday Park Nature Center. Collin looks a little spooked by the snake (me too!).

I've come to the conclusion, fourth borns have a very different birthday experience than their older siblings.

With my first son, birthdays were such a big deal. I spent more time preparing for his first birthday than I did writing my law school admissions essay. I handmade invitations and delivered them to practically everyone we knew. I whipped up a small feast and ordered a gorgeous vanilla buttercream birthday cake. A crowd packed into our tiny house and hovered around the birthday boy eagerly watching his every move.

Flash forward three boys and almost a decade and birthday celebrating has changed. Yesterday, fourth born Collin celebrated his birthday in a more subdued fashion. With the business of life, I plumb forgot about a birthday party until days before. With no time to make or send out invitations, I phoned a few parents. The night before the party, I searched the house for anything resembling a party craft or game. An hour before the party, I still didn't have a solid plan. The kids mostly played and then devoured a Costco pizza topped off with a Target birthday cake.

Reflecting on the different experiences, I questioned, "Do fourth borns have it worse?" Someday, will Collin lounge on a therapist's couch and lament the fact that he didn't have the same caliber of birthday party as his older brothers? Will he flip through his baby book and gasp when he scans the meager entries? Will he wonder why his photo album jumps from a few baby pictures to his high school graduation photo?


But, I hope one day he'll understand he was loved just as much, cared for just as deeply, but celebrated differently.

I'm imagine when he becomes a parent he'll understand.

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