Finding ways to celebrate through shelter in place… again. We have a running joke in my family that our world was just a bit too quiet in the earlier years of parenting. The universe must of caught on to that little secret and decided a shake up was in order.

Enter middle sister.

For someone that started out so tiny, she sure was bursting at the seams with mighty right from the start and continues to wake the world each day with that big ole’ personality of hers. It grows on you… on the weekends… after 8am… post coffee.

Of all the kids in our family, it seemed additionally tragic that the “quarantine birthday” happened to land on the one child in the household that needs people and celebrating like my plants need water (and believe me, those sad, greenish-brown buddies are waaaaay thirsty). As her birthday approached I found myself pondering ways that we create some extroverted celebrations with the introverted lot she was stuck social distancing with. Turns out, there actually are a lot of ways to celebrate a birthday in quarantine.

RELATED READING :: Quarantine has done a number on my mothering skills

Proclaim it to the world. There are so many local companies throughout the greater Austin area that will decorate your yard with adorable name signs for your child’s special day. We called around and found great products through Card My Yard, Austin Yard Cards, Lone Star Yard Greetings and Storks and More of Austin. Additionally, if you are on a budget and looking to save, check the Nextdoor app and neighborhood Facebook groups as there are a bunch of people offering to loan birthday decor and the likes. Ultimately, our two teens offered to make a giant sign for the yard. I mean, teen siblings offering to decorate a birthday sign for their younger sister is about the rarest unicorn sighting I ever did see so no way was I going to pass on that offer. Intentionally loving on your sibling, creating something WITH YOUR HANDS and getting off those screens for a hot minute? YES PLEASE.

Birthday parades. Let me take a minute to talk to you about the magic of birthday parades. What started as a little text chain to some friends requesting a car meetup at the neighborhood park for a parade style drive by our house turned into the most beautiful display of our tribe loving on our birthday babe in a desperate time to celebrate. Classmates, neighborhood buddies, TEACHERS, police friends, ENTIRE FAMILIES with their own unicorn teenagers all showed up, with signs, streamers, sirens and flare. I totally ugly cried. It seems we all might be missing our people a little and needing more reasons to celebrate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your community for love. People are totally showing up in a beautiful way these days to celebrate and it has completely refilled my bucket. Wholesome, free and fun. Our world needs more to celebrate right now.

Virtual Birthdays. You know how at cake cutting time, all the people sort of cluster around, talk in all directions, sing way off key and then your child blows out the candles? This is exactly like that but you don’t even have to put on pants (but you maybe should.) All the people instantly go away after singing and leave NO mess behind. Sister, you haven’t lived until you have experienced 15 little people trying to navigate a google meet and demanding cake in their own homes.

God bless that leave meeting button!

Create an experience. Travel the world without ever leaving your house. Pick a theme and just run with it. Camping in the backyard? Awesome. Crepes and Cartoons for dinner? Bring it. Pick a board game, a favorite movie or have an epic dance party at home. Bounce House rentals have been pricing out week long rentals for the price of what a day rental would typically cost. Want to kill your grass with a mega waterslide in the front yard for a week? Rock on. Tell silly baby stories, craft with items in nature, go on a scavenger hunt or a hike. Our world doesn’t have to cease with celebrations in the midst of hard times right now. It just takes a little out of the box effort.

With that said, if the weight of your worry is just too much right now, or you life is just a bit too slanted to create “normalcy”… let that go. Give yourself the grace to just be where you are right now. Sure birthday parades, posters and backyard tents are fun but what your child really wants more than anything in the world is YOU. Don’t lose sight of this! Cuddle in close, bake a favorite treat or order out dinner from a local business that might be struggling too. Your child’s day is infinitely better just because you are in it. So in the world of go big or go home… maybe just go home. We all know that’s where the best love lives anyways.

It’s time to celebrate. Happy celebrating. Here’s to a brighter year to come.

Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography


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