What a lovely weekend we had! With The Oldest's birthday falling in the middle of the week, she opted to save her Activity of Choice for the weekend so that The Daddy could participate. I'm glad she did - it turned out to be a great time of family togetherness.
A few years ago, I decided to give up trying to throw a huge party for both girls on each birthday. Parties are expensive and exhausting. I was a little nervous about making that change, thinking it would be a great disappointment to the girls, who were pretty accustomed to annual birthday celebrations, but really, they haven't minded. The new rule is: Party Every Third Year. So this means ages 7, 10, 13, and 16. Those birthdays are pretty special ones, and that rule gives me enough time to plan and prepare and not lose too much sanity.
And on the in-between years, we let the kids pick a special activity they don't usually get to do, take them out to dinner (or make them something special at home, if they would rather) and we spend time as a family celebrating their life.
For her birthday this year, The Oldest chose to go to a local fun park and play laser tag. We got there early enough that it was only the four of us in the laser tag rooms, and it was a blast! I had to laugh at first - both girls were more than a little afraid of being left alone in a dark maze, though their eyes soon adjusted. Much laughing, running, and squealing happened, and memories were made. We rounded it out with a few games of ski-ball (mostly for my benefit - I can't pass up a game of ski-ball) in the arcade and a nice lunch at Red Robin, where our now-twelve-year old got to order off the grown-up menu.
Littlest One had so much fun she thinks she might change her Birthday Activity from ice-skating to laser tag now. The Oldest thanked us again and again for such a fun day. I think, overall, it was a birthday success!