Dearest Children, 

Let me just apologize up front. You got shafted in the Crafty Mom department. 
You see, I’m a rock star at making sure you get healthy food at each meal. And sleeping? Boo-yah. I’m all over that. You’re growing up the best-rested kids on the block. I also worked hard at allowing some “creative freedom” and messes are excused in the basement in exchange for a bit of imaginative play. We have a never-ending supply of crayons, papers, even glitter (gasp!) glue. 
But your birthday parties are gonna suck. 
First, I cannot decorate a cake. I can bake one. I won’t burn it and I can even get something that is both gluten and dairy free to taste delicious. I once even made a pineapple upside down cake completely from scratch, without a box, and “poached” the pineapple. It was fantastic. I can also make sure that a substance filled with sugar, resembling frosting, will accompany said cake. You will declare it yummy. But the buck stops with flavor. 
It’ll look like a train wreck. With Christmas sprinkles, because that’s what I had in the cupboard. 
I once used a heart-shaped pan. The cake successfully appeared as if it were a heart. Total victory in my book. 
So, once we bring out the round cake with frosting dumped on, and you open your presents that everyone else brought (because gift-giving isn’t high on the list of skills for your father OR me), the excitement pretty much wanes. The decorations will be lacking – as in, absent – save the balloon wreath I made for H Boy on his 3rd birthday and have since recycled for every subsequent celebration. That balloon wreath might have been a birthday party crowning moment. 
And games, favors, and special treats for the party? Well, thankfully your Aunt Gigi is good at putting together a little bag of something something, or I’d never know what to offer. We might get one of those for the parties we share with your cousins, but the ones we fly solo… well, I’ll try to put it on the list. But I probably won’t remember (or want to purchase) those little bags to stuff it in because they’re too pricey just to have something to throw away later. 
I promise to do all that I can so that you grow to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted contributors of society. I even promise to remember your birthdays and mark them special and allow you to choose the menu for dinner (or the restaurant, if that is the case). But please, when you set the bar of expectations for your next celebration, remember who your mother really is. You will not be disappointed if you set your sights a notch or two lower than all your friends. 
Much love and Happy Birthday, 
Mom 
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