Monday, October 31, 2005

The day after...

How many birthday parties can a little boy have? Well, ours had three birthday parties. Small echoes of the parties will follow in the coming days as not everyone made it to his birthday and already two of his playmates have made playdates for the future.

I sometimes wonder what it is that compels me to celebrate birthdays in such an overwhelming manner. My mom still tells the story of how between a choice of a present or a party, my elder sister would choose for the big present and I would go for the big bash. The first computer to ever enter our home was a birthday present from my parents to my sister. That year, I chose to celebrate with a full house...when I say full house, I mean not just ten or twelve guests.

Back home, there are photographs of parties where almost every member of the youth group is present. One birthday, I invited all the children from an area where I had an outreach class, to our house for cake and spaghetti once. There must have been about fifty children swarming all over our garage. All of them excited, all of them dressed in smiles.

I don't know if it is cultural baggage or if it is simply my own personal baggage that compels me to call up and invite people to come over for a huge birthday bash. As if somehow a birthday is not complete unless the house is filled with smiling people who laugh and chat and exchange recipes over a plate filled with lumpias, fried chicken and pancit or some other wok-fried dish. Happily, I have never yet run out of food enough to feed our guests.

Next year, Joel Jan will be turning seven. After that, he can decide for I want three or four birthday parties or do I want one big party and one big present? It's his choice, but I still have next year to plan for...


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