Yes, a month later we will be celebrating my daughter’s first birthday! A huge milestone for us. Apart from it being a roller coaster ride, the year just went by in a flash.

Impending motherhood had led to some unique experiences – beginning with finding the Thin Red Line to worrying about the Son Shining Bright, to understanding the subtle art of Rejection, to being forced to listen to Free Flowing Advice and accepting that’s Life.

With motherhood came the big questions, What’s in a Name, should I be a Parent or a Friend? The need for Help,  Insight and Stability for my child as much as for myself rocked my existence. Every time I felt the need to protect my child, I sent out a Prayer.

Today as I sit planning for her first birthday, the challenges of life and expectations continue.

Who are you inviting?

Well, its definitely close family and friends. Why ask? Like her Annaprashon (rice-eating ceremony) at 5 months we’re keen to celebrate her first birthday with people we care about, people who matter and who’re important in our lives. Ideally we want an intimate affair and therefore have reached out to those people hoping they can make it this time as well. She goes to the park everyday to play and enjoys that but is still a long way from making friends and wanting to invite them over for her special day.

Where are you hosting it?

Heh?! At home, of course! She’s going to be one year old, where were they expecting us to organise it?

Who is planning the event?

Now this is the most interesting suggestion, ‘get an event planner to organise every thing, they’ll do a professional job!’ Well, actually no! Its my daughter’s first birthday and I want to organise everything. What’s the fun in having someone else experience the joy of doing something special for her? I want to decorate the house, make the invitations, cook the food and of course bake her birthday cake. For someone who will probably only remember that it was a good day, fun day – do you think she’ll really care to wonder if I’d done a ‘professional’ job?

Have you thought about return gifts?

Goodness, no I haven’t and I don’t want to hand out return gifts! Within immediate family and friend circle she is the youngest. The others are all different ages, I don’t need the pressure of having to think of buying age appropriate gifts. No, its not that I’m unnecessarily resisting this new found tradition of return gifts but I truly don’t see any reason to follow suit.

Birthdays are special and personal – we want to celebrate to share our happiness and joy. We want to have fun together.

Why insist on loosing the essence of the simple things in life?