Jeff just keeps saying, "Next year I'll be 40!" I don't think the idea excites him. It does me. He gets better and better with age--(can I just say that he was already pretty awesome to start with?). And I am SO glad he was born!
We don't do large "friend" parties every year for our kids, instead, we save the big parties for big birthdays, you know...5, 10, 13, 16, 18...
We do have two small traditions that we do each year. The first is that the birthday child gets to choose what they will have for dinner on their day. Anything they want. Last year, Nate chose Manwiches (YUCK!). I begrudgingly made them and we all ate them, but Nate hated them and never asked for THAT again. This year he chose Personal Pizzas. These are fun and super simple, so I am looking forward to dinner. I will be trying my hand at making homemade pizza dough for the first time. I'll let you know how it turns out.
The other tradition is one the kids look forward to almost as much as presents. On the morning of their birthday, Jeff takes each child out to breakfast, just the two of them. They begin choosing their restaurant weeks before the actual date, weighing food choices and locations. On years when birthdays fall on Sundays, Jeff takes them early, before church. Tomorrow, Jeff has an early job and so he will hustle to that and return to take Nate out between jobs-but it's too important to skip. Nate waits eagerly. I believe that Jeff waits, just as eager.
They will laugh and eat and grow closer. This will be what they remember when they are grown. Not the gifts or the parties, but the one-on-one time with a father that loves them deeply. They are so lucky, and so am I.
Aren't they great?