The past few days, my house has been filled with a variety of renditions of the Happy Birthday song. It’s been a couple of months since we had a birthday in the house and Kassandra apparently really likes that song.

This all came about after she and I went to a baby’s first birthday party on Saturday. It was such a special day. The birthday girl was adorable, and the house was filled with people in a party mood. Kids ran around, playing games. Parents chatted with each other. One of my older daughters was there, so while I held her baby, she ran around after my preschooler. It was the perfect arrangement.

At first, Kassandra was nervous. She still has anxiety issues when we go anywhere. Fortunately now, it’s just a matter of time. Eventually, she became comfortable with her surroundings and began to play. She had a blast.

There were toys and games, balloons and cake – although my child preferred the grapes to the cake. The other children played well together. It was a nice diversion on a Saturday afternoon. Nobody pushed their kids to do anything special and, when some kids didn’t want to play the games, nobody was concerned.

We’re not big birthday people in our house. We have so many birthdays, that it’s usually easier to celebrate several at a time instead of one at a time. Other families make a big deal out of birthdays, and that’s great, too. Whatever works is what’s best.

That’s one of the things I enjoy most when talking to other parents. I love hearing about what they do to celebrate the special days in their homes. Are birthdays big events, with lots or people? Or, are they dinner with the family and a homemade cake? This year, for example Kassandra celebrated her 3rd birthday at the same time that Meri celebrated her 18th. Kassa got toys. Meri got diamond earrings.

Friends of mine always celebrate Christmas by going on a great vacation with the extended family. My kids couldn’t imagine spending the Christmas holiday anywhere but at home. Whatever your traditions tend to be, make them your own. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses as you move forward with your family. You only have to keep up with you. So, plan your celebrations in a way that works for you and know that your kids will grow up loving them. The most important thing is that you are a family and you are together.

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Rev. Kelly Crenshaw
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, 2 biological kids, Guardian of one adorable toddler, and has been the foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She has worked with kids in the foster care system for over two decades, actively advocating for all kids, but especially those in the LGBT community. And, in her spare time, she can be found preaching in some of our area’s most LGBT-friendly churches. Feel free to send your parenting questions to her at Pastor.Kelly@comcast.net.
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