My mom always did our birthdays up in style. Big style. We always had a theme, and more often than not, my grandmother would be asked to sew a special outfit for the big day. My mother would make the cake, and while she wasn’t a professional decorator, I think she would have held her own against the best.
I was young enough that I don’t really remember my Strawberry Shortcake birthday, but I do at least have photographic evidence of how coordinated it was–even the wrapping paper was coordinated. At this birthday, I was gifted a large strawberry-shaped toy box. It had a lid that came off completely, so it was more fun as a hiding place than as a toy box. Also, it was a good place the hide the cat.
One birthday I remember well was the equestrian-themed party. It even had a saddle (on top of a saw horse) for me to sit on while unwrapping my presents. (On a side note, how many people have their kids unwrap presents at the party? Is this still a thing? To this day, I hate opening presents in front of people.) This party also had a cardboard cutout of a horse in a stable made by my older brother. One of my favorite art pieces in my home is a wood burning that he gave me for this birthday.
The Olympics themed birthday may have been the most embarrassing, in retrospect. It involved a sweat suit and a headband that I had to wear ro the party. The cake was a gold medal.
The Barbie birthday involved what may have been the most technically demanding cake. My mom used a real Barbie doll, and the cake itself was the doll’s skirt. It was pretty amazing. I wish I had a picture of that one.
I was wrong. I think the Irish-themed party was the most embarrassing. I had an outfit that included an apron and a bonnet. A giant bonnet. I loved my grandmother, but I don’t know that I can comprehend why she went along with my mom on this one. Not only did I have an Irish dress, we had real Irish food, including biscuits and stew (which I hate) and a Blarney stone. I told you, big style.
Birthday parties are on my list of reasons to never have kids. I’d never do it up as well as my mom did.