Tuesday, December 11, 2012



We sang that several ways at our house last night.  We had balloons, cake, confetti, streamers, candles..........all the trappings of a proper birthday party.

Who was born on December 10th?  None of my family!

(And no, it wasn't a birthday party for Jesus either.  Although we will have a cake when we do our celebration to help Spencer grasp the meaning of Christmas.)

So why a birthday party?!

Well, lest you become discouraged about your own mistakes, mess ups, missed opportunities - I've come to offer you hope and encouragement today!

Last night we were finally having the birthday celebration for:
  • John whose birthday is July 2nd!  
  • Joy - born on August 8th!  
  • Nathan - born September 18th!  
  • And Meagan - born December 20th!

Yes, it's true.  The year 2012 was almost remembered as my year of epic failure serving in the capacity of  -  Leader of All Things Celebratory!! 

"Good grief, Sheri!  Aren't these your own children?!" you ask with shock and dismay.

Yes, as a matter of fact they are! 

"Did you forget?  Were you incapacitated?  Were you at least out of the country when these birthdays occurred?!" 

Nope, none of the above!

I stand before you today as a woman without excuse!  

The simple truth?  When life rolls this fast, some things inevitably get pushed to the back burner.  And sad to say, in our family for the year 2012, that was every single birthday after February!

And in an attempt at full disclosure - every birthday would have been skipped entirely had it not been for Kristin who said, "This tradition must be salvaged!  We can not finish the year without marking days of birth!"  So........

  • She set the date for happy hooraying.
  • She delegated menu selections.
  • She uncovered birthday wishes.
  • She purchased final gifts.  (Some we've had in our closet since before their special days.  I didn't forget entirely.)
  • She wrapped said items.
  • She decorated the dining room.
  • She placed the candle numbers "1.0.4." on the cake Meagan baked.  (The total of their birthday ages.)
My part?  I made tacos and held babies and smiled a lot and tried not to feel guilty!

We ended the night by going around the living room giving words of blessing/affirmation.  (A tradition we picked up from another family.  Each celebrator present shares a word or phrase expressing a characteristic they appreciate about the birthday celebra-tee.  It's become something we all look forward to!)

Just as things were concluding someone said, "Hey, wait a minute!  We never got to celebrate Mom's birthday this year either!"

(Frank had taken care of that with a special dinner in Orlando and the most marvelous gift of dance lessons! Which we look forward to taking in January.)

Right there, on the spot, my precious family forgave my epic failure as Leader of All Things Celebratory and lavished words of encouragement on me too!

(So, if I miss your birthday, please don't be offended.  Perhaps the greater surprise should be if I remember!)

And if a family tradition you love and value has to morph this year in order to be accomplished?  Morph away, my friend!  Salvage tradition any way you can! 

Some day your little one will be an adult.  And they will pick up your "tradition slack" and salvage what might have otherwise been lost.
That's why they call it TRADITION!  (Can't you just hear that marvelous tune from "Fiddler on the Roof" right now?!)

Be absolved from all guilt in the matters of tradition failure!  Go forth with renewed zeal!  And if you stumble along the path, simply rehearse this new mantra for yourself - "Well, at least I didn't miss my own child's birthday this year like Sheri did!" 

If my epic failure serves as a benchmark of encouragement, then it won't have been such an epic fail after all! 

Ah, yes!  All things work together for good...............

1 comment:

  1. (Chuckling) Actually, Sheri, I think a new tradition of a once a year group birthday (adult birthdays only) would be very efficient and a reason for an awesome party! Okay...I only have one adult child...but if there were more I think I'd go for a new tradition!

    2 posts about embracing change...a book perhaps? :)