I May Never Throw a Birthday Party Again

How a “Yes Day” may become our new, best tradition.

My second child, Scarlet, tends to be shy. I could tell how uncomfortable she was at her 4th birthday party. She didn’t like all of the attention and limelight.

When her 5th birthday was coming up, I asked her if she’d rather have a birthday party or a “Yes Day.”

“What’s a ‘Yes Day?'” she asked.

Whenever you ask me something, I have to say, “Yes.”

“A ‘Yes Day,’ a ‘Yes Day!'” she instantly decided. “Can I get my ears pierced?”

Oh. I thought she was going to ask for ice cream. 

But, after considering it (she’s been asking for two years), I said, “yes.” And for the next few months, she continued to come up with ideas. We had so much fun planning what we were going to do, that the build-up was almost as fun as the actual day.

We ended up getting her ears pierced a few days before her birthday due to scheduling.

The morning of her birthday, she came bounding out of the room, saying, “Can I have birthday cake for breakfast?”

“You can have it after your breakfast,” I automatically replied.

“But, mom, it’s my ‘Yes Day,'” she said.

Touché. Birthday Cake for breakfast, it is.

She was literally running down the street as we left our apartment, dressed in a fancy dress and a princess crown.

The first place she wanted to go was to a toy store. She picked out several L.O.L. DollsTM for herself, and a present for each of her siblings. I couldn’t say no to that, plus it was less than I probably would have bought for her myself.

Next, we went to Dylan’s Candy Bar. (This is a girl after my own heart.)

She picked out a giant lollipop and a unicorn headband that she hasn’t taken off since.

I figured she needed some real food in her system so I took her to a new place I had seen, CoolMess.

As we ate lunch, she excitedly tore open her new L.O.L. Dolls. I asked her if she was having fun. She said, “This is the best day of my life!”

I started thinking, too, how much fun I was having. She was all smiles. We gave each other all of our attention (which is rare in a house with four little kids). We had so much fun talking and doing things together that I realized I was the one really winning out on this deal.

I didn’t have to gather email addresses, manage invitations and RSVPs, find a place to have the party, or (even worse) host it at our place. Instead, I got to spend the day having a blast with my daughter and introducing her to cereals that I usually won’t let her have. (She gave it two thumbs up.)

Fruit Loops ice cream topped with Lucky Charms marshmallows and Teddy Grahams.

At this point, I had a surprise for her. I found out that “Frozen” on Broadway was opening the weekend of her birthday. And, I knew we had to go. This was obviously a splurge, but I knew we would be leaving New York soon and that she would love it. So, we got tickets (in the last row) and she was glued to the edge of her seat.

She still talks about how “AMAZING,” it was.

After the show, we were walking through Times Square and I asked her what she wanted to do next. “I want to give my brothers and sister their presents. Can we go home?” she asked.

My heart swelled.

We had the perfect day. And, it was time to go home.

“Mom, you know how you never let us take our pictures with the characters?” she quietly said.

Take all my money. (But, not after today.)

Julie Forbes

Julie Kroenig Forbes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent the next 10 years working as a news anchor and reporter in various cities, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few years in Northern California and New York, she now lives in Ohio with her husband and four kids.
Julie Forbes

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