Friday, October 20, 2023

Family birthdays are a little different once the kids are grown

There was a time when most of the attendees at our family birthday celebrations lived upstairs. Scheduling these parties wasn't especially difficult because the people in our house were, by and large, 12 years old and younger. We had a pretty good handle on when they could all be available.

Now, however, getting a birthday shindig on the calendar is somewhere just north of impossible. Four of the kids have moved out and are living the lives of young adults. All four come with significant others whose presence is greatly appreciated, but who sometimes add to the scheduling confusion.

It used to be that sports practices and school events were the main obstacles. Now we contend with business trips, sheer physical distance between our house and where the kids live, and family events for the aforementioned significant others.

This is what happens when most or all of your kids are in their 20s. I understand they have stuff to do...places to be, people to meet, that sort of thing. That's how it was for me when I was in my 20s (back in the previous century, though we won't get into that).

Once we do manage to find a date that works for everyone except my son who lives in Florida, even the parties themselves have changed. We still have cake and ice cream, we still make jokes and laugh, and we still sit around and watch as the birthday boy/girl opens presents.

What has changed is the dynamic. It's a different feel when the kids are grown up vs. when they were little and wanted to do more than just sit in the living room and talk.

Not better or worse, just different.

When the kids were preteens, they had soft drinks with their birthday cake. Now I walk around taking everyone's order for adult beverages and try my best to fulfill them from our stock in the garage refrigerator.

The talk isn't about school or friends so much as how work is going and why health insurance is so expensive.

So it goes. Things change.

I am, however, going to request that Chloe's upcoming birthday get-together have a Teletubbies theme. Just for old times' sake. 

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