“Gosh!! You guys are stingy!”
“So many people earning at home…..can’t even spend money for one function!”
“Tum logoen ki problem kya hai?”
Problem yeh hai, that we (me and the BF) refuse to celebrate the twin’s birthday in the conventional way. The first year , I did explain to everyone the reason behind our decision. Some were okay with it, some were skeptical. Some were polite enough to keep their opinions to themselves. But most of them were placated because we had the twin’s Aqiqah a couple of weeks before the birthday. Though not a typical cake-cutting event, the Aqiqah was a dinner invitation with nearly 250 guests.
But when we didn’t send out party invites for the twin’s “first” birthday, every Tom,Dick ,Harry and their chacha took it upon themselves to pass judgement on us. Accusations flew left,right and center. Sometimes, by people near and dear to us. People who were unable to understand why we shirk celebrating. Who believed that we should be having a royal bash for the twin’s birthday. You have enough reason to party, they claim.
We do, I agree.
The twins are a blessing which we don’t deserve. They are everything we ever wanted and more. They are my heart’s desire and their Abba’s very heartbeat. With every breath of our’s, we are grateful to the Almighty. Words cannot express what we had been through before the twins were born. And that is why, their presence is a boon, a sight for sore eyes.
Before the twins were born, I vowed that instead of celebrating their birthday with parties, we’ll something more meaningful with the money. The BF backed my decision, him being of the philanthropic kind. So we contributed some more towards the education of orphan girls in the MIL’s school (which is run by a trust. There are many girls from poorer strata of society and also some orphans who are accommodated in the school hostel. We contribute towards the educational needs of these girls . It doesn’t matter to us whether the girls are hindus or christians or muslims). The first year, my sister and cousins insisted they would drop by for a party. I told them there isn’t going to be one. They turned up anyway. The BIL was also not one to back down. He bought a cake, streamers and gifts for the twins. I had bought gifts for the kids in our building, because they had given company to my children, befriended them, spent time with them. I handed them over to the kids who had dropped by and for the others, I delivered it to their homes.
But this year again, we plan differently.
We plan to take the kids out for the day, maybe a water park or the zoo, spend the day with them, play with them and just have a great time together. In the evening, we might go out for dinner or just order in.
Anyhow, the issue here is, people ask us why we aren’t ‘celebrating’ and I can only nod my head in amazement, because when I say that yes, we are celebrating the day by being with the kids, they say that we haven’t kept a party!! So it boils down to this :- a celebration is incomplete unless and until we invite people over and have a party.
Our idea of celebration differs from your’s. Is it so difficult to comprehend? And for the record, for people who accuse us of attending birthday bashes but not keeping one of our own, I have this to say – Since the twins were born, me and the BF attended the birthday bashes before any other guests turned up. We wished the couple and their child, handed over our gift and came back. We never stayed for the ‘party’ and we never took the kids along. I may sound like a mean mom, but I have my reasons.
I want to celebrate my children’s birthday when they are old enough to understand what a birthday is. When they are old enough to enjoy a birthday for what it is. When they can play on a bouncy castle with confidence, blow on candles and gape in awe at a magician’s hat. When they understand friendship and be cheerful when they have kids their age around them. When they are old enough to appreciate all the attention and love. Not when they get upset at seeing large crowds and unfamiliar faces. Not when the only thing my babies want to do is be clingy and cry on my shoulder. Not when my kids throw up the cake because they aren’t used to eating whiped cream. Not when my children are whiny, irritable and difficult to manage. At the time when I would be more concerned with my kid’s wellbeing, would I be able to pay attention to your’s?? Or you, for that matter?
I wanted to keep a big bash when the twins are 5 years old. But now, seeing that they are very social and quick to make friends, we have decided to keep a bash on their 3rd birthday,which would be next year.
Somehow, I feel rather silly giving all these explanations. These justifications. As if what we are doing is wrong. And when we claim that we are using the money for charitable reasons, don’t we take away much of the charm of giving in the first place?!! But I’m forced to do this. To silence a lot of people. To hint out at the others. These are MY kids. More than anyone else in this world, I have a reason to celebrate, to Thank Allah for His generosity. I just choose to do it MY way. I don’t go about preaching my friends and colleagues on how they should celebrate their kid’s birthdays. I just don’t see why others should treat me otherwise!
Whew! What a rant. And that too on the eve of the twin’s Birthday.
Anyway, I’ll be away tomorrow. To spend time with my children. My two little heart-throbs who are the very essence of my life ! We’ll have our own sweet ‘bash’ and if you envy us, so be it 😀
Next year, maybe, I’ll be strong enough to share them with you all.
But not now. Not so soon 😀