I didn’t throw a first birthday party for my daughter, Roya.
I write that without any guilt or shame.
Nonetheless, my decision surprised quite a few loved ones. Why didn’t I go the traditional route?
- Roya won’t remember anything about any event at this early point in her life. As such, her first birthday will come and go without any recollection of it. All she knows is the here and now, and whether she is fed, warm, dry and loved. To her one-year-old mind, every day is a party!
- The Man and I are both only children, and Roya is our only child. Some people turn a one-year-old birthday party into a larger family celebration. Others utilize the event as a reminder that life, joy and laughter continue in the midst of loss and illness. The former isn’t our reality, and the latter thankfully isn’t our necessity.
- I’ve never been one to follow the pack or tradition. (Remember the amazing cocktail party that my friends threw me in lieu of a customary baby shower?) I didn’t want this occasion to be the exception.
- Party planning stresses me out. Birthday parties for one year olds are typically for the adults. Why should I add something to my plate, if it doesn’t make me happy?
- To me, smash cakes are an exercise in messiness and forced responses. Some babies love having their faces covered in frosting, while onlookers applaud. Others don’t.
- Roya has been and will continue to be celebrated every day in small and big ways by her loved ones. I envisioned her birthday to be intimate and special to those of us who have raised her over the past year. And, it was just that!
- Roya was feted at brunch by her parents and nannies at one of our favorite restaurants, Peacock Café. We showered her with snuggles and kisses, rather than presents. For her birthday dessert, I picked up a vanilla cupcake from Sprinkles. In typical baby fashion, though, Roya fell asleep before she could taste it! We finished out the day enjoying the beautiful weather and having Campono pizza at home.
- There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate the birthday of a one-year-old. If having a large party makes you happy, then that’s what you should do! Likewise, if you don’t want to throw a big party for your baby, don’t feel like you have to for anyone else’s sake. I have no regrets about choosing a simpler way to celebrate.