Nine years ago today my wife and I welcomed our third and youngest daughter into the world and our family. A lot has changed in the past 9 years. We moved, the girls changed schools we welcomed a new puppy into the family in 2017 and a little brother in 2018...and this past year has been a wild ride for everyone.
Birthdays certainly don't look like they used to pre-pandemic. I know in the grand scheme of things altered birthday plans are not the worst. But I think for us parents it's a source of quiet lament or even sadness over the loss of something so basic as a typical birthday party. Worry over not marking the milestone quite right, of our kids not noting the significance of the day or feeling special is real. No matter how silly that might sound I think it's a reality. A birthday party is such a basic rite of passage; when not allowed to celebrate it the ways that we've grown accustomed to it just feels off.
We made the most of the day and were intentional about just being present in the day and having fun together. I took the afternoon off and when the girls were done their schooling we went sledding (still permitted) where our new nine year old saw her best friend. Then we went home and our wonderful friends drove by for a pandemic birthday parade where they transferred cards and gifts from their car windows to us. Then we had take-out, homemade ice cream sundaes with ultimate toppings, followed by gifts and a movie.
Despite not looking the same as birthday parties as we've come to known them. Seeing the joy on my little girl's face when she got to see her friend or as she watched the cars of friends driving by was precious. It was a pretty sweet day that reminded me that the best part of any celebration is just being together with the people you care about.
It's a joy watching my (I guess) not-so-little girl grow-up. Through all the changes in life, both personal and otherwise, she has maintained such a sweet disposition. She's kind, generous, hard-working and always so easy going. She's one cool kid and I'm proud to be her Dad.