Birthdays are such a special time, especially for kids. I have always loved backyard parties, and with Mark’s birthday in April and our quintuplets in October, we usually have good weather for them. With typically around 75-100 people at each party, Bill cooks a barbeque dinner, and we set up a bouncy house, a kids’ activity table with a craft, coloring pages and cookie decorating, and enjoy time with friends and family celebrating the day.
Every birthday is an exciting time to let someone know you are glad they were born; however with our quintuplets (and probably any high risk birth) there has been such a huge sense of blessing. We are aware that it is not the norm to have five healthy quintuplets and are grateful every day, but their birthday always brings that to the forefront of my mind. It is amazing to watch them run, play and interact together.
While we do one birthday party for all five (at least for now), we always try to celebrate each of them individually. We sing happy birthday to each one individually and let them blow out their candles. The looks on their faces are absolutely priceless! This year was their third birthday, and they “got it” much more than last year. They understood when it was their turn and were very excited! With them in pre-school this year, they each got to have a birthday celebration in their classrooms too. They selected a treat to take; some were the same and some were different. Mark, Becca and Ali all chose rice krispie treats, David and Kate picked yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and John selected chocolate chip cookies. I love watching their personalities, both similarities and differences, emerge more and more each year. My favorite thing from this year’s birthday was listening to them sing happy birthday to each other for several weeks.
We have taken Mark to a Japanese hibachi restaurant for his past two birthdays, and this year we went as a whole family for our quintuplets’ birthday. We take up a whole hibachi table, and it is such a fun dinner! They had a great time watching the “silly chef” do tricks and the food was great. I think that may become an annual tradition for us.
Pictures are taken frequently in our house, but it is rare to have Bill or me in them. We have tried to be very deliberate in taking some pictures with parents. On Mother’s Day, each child gets a picture with me, on Father’s Day with Bill and on their birthday with both of us. That way everyone gets a picture with each parent and with both parents at least once per year.
Life has changed so much over the past few years. We are so grateful for all six of our children and incredibly blessed that they are healthy! We also feel so fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who are involved in our lives. We look forward to many more birthday celebrations.