Margaret turned six.
She requested buttered pasta for dinner, a princess cake with chocolate icing, and a party with her friends.
The first two were easy – the last one – not so much. I am a terrible birthday party mom.
It’s not that we don’t celebrate birthdays. We always celebrate at home with a cake and presents after dinner, and sometimes the cousins or a neighbor will join us. But I stopped throwing the big invite-your-whole-class parties years ago.
When my boys were preschoolers, we always had those parties at at our house. It was a lot of work to get together and truthfully – my boys never seemed to enjoy them all that much. And now, I realize, they don’t even remember them! So after many years of birthday parties, I just stopped throwing them.
But as the youngest, Margaret got the short end of the birthday stick. This year, she was dead-set on a big party with her classmates. And you are only six once, right? We had her party at a gymnastics place in town. It was easy and wonderful. When it was over, Margaret and I snuggled under the covers and read some great birthday books.
Here are some I think are perfect for a six-year-old:
When’s My Birthday? (Julie Fogliano) – Kids get so excited for their birthdays! So many plans and expectations! This book captures those feelings perfectly.
Over and Over (Charlotte Zolotow) – A sweet one from my own childhood. It’s about all the holidays and celebrations that occur over and over, year after year.
A Birthday for Cow! (Jan Thomas) – These books are similar to the Elephant and Piggie books written by Mo Willems. They are great for kids who are learning to read. But they are funny and quick and also make a read bedtime story.
Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh) (A.A. Milne) – Poems featuring Christopher Robin and Pooh. The last poem is six-year-old perfection:
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three,
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six, I am as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.