I know kids these days are soft. Everyone is so careful to praise each kid – participation trophy’s across the board and stickers for ‘trying’. And I agree that it’s overboard. I think that only the winning team or the MVP should get a trophy. I think it’s ok for kids to keep score in their sporting events instead of always playing for fun. And I also think that there is a lot of fluff out there that gets recognized.
That being said, we celebrate half-birthdays in our house.
What is a halfbirthday?
We celebrate the 6 month anniversary of their birth – basically the day they turn __1/2. For Landon, it’s TOMORROW – Sept. 1 (bc he’s a Mar 1 baby). For Brooks, it’s July 16 (because he’s a Jan 16 baby). For us, a halfbirthday means we’ll do a special meal – whether out at a restaurant or cooking the special boy’s favorites. We’ll do something fun – like go to the bounce house place, to the pool, etc. We’ll have a dessert treat. The halfbirthday boy gets one small present (i.e. less than $10). We’ll sing “Happy halfbirthday to you…” Just like the regular birthday song. And we’ll spend the time to say what we love about our special guy.
Why do we do it?
- Why not? I think it’s totally ok to have two special days out of 365 each year where we totally love on and validate our kids. And we do those things other days of the year, but these days are special. With balloons, singing birthday songs, telling them what we love about them and just recognizing them for the special boys they are. With all the negativity that I know will go into my kids – from other kids or adults telling them in a variety of ways they aren’t good enough – why not make them feel good about who they are and their role in our family. Why not lift and encourage their spirit in a special way.
- Passing on a tradition. My husband’s family started this tradition because his brother has a birthday two weeks before Christmas – which means his birthday would sometimes get rolled into Christmas – as hard as they tried to keep it separate. By having his halfbirthday, it was an opportunity for him to celebrate in the summer, away from all the Christmas activity. Brooks falls into a similar category because he has a January birthday and we’re always kinda on overdrive from Christmas by the time his birthday comes.
- So my kids can do fun birthday-like activities in the warm months. My kids have cold weather birthdays – Jan and Mar. So with the halfbirthday celebrations, we get to do fun things in the warm months. My kids won’t ever get to do an outdoor party on their real birthday so it gives us a chance to do a little celebrating in shorts!
- It’s a family activity. The half-birthday celebration is something we all do together. It’s a family affair. And I can’t think of any reason to do less family-centric activities.
Exclusions: Dean and I do not participate in half-birthday celebrations. I don’t even LOVE doing my regular birthday.
How long will we do it?
Until the boys don’t want to do it anymore, or until they leave the house. They may wake up around age 14 and tell me they’re done with the silly halfbirthday thing, but I imagine this is one of those “childish” things that they’ll ‘go with’ until they head to college. They’ll pretend it’s an inconvenience but deep down inside, they’ll still feel that happy, comfort of a longstanding family tradition.
Here’s what we did for Brooks’ 3.5 birthday this summer:
We went out a sweet mom/Brooks lunch date. He chose the spot. (K&W Cafeteria…just us and a bunch of old people.)
Then for fun, Dean and I set up a surprise water balloon fight with the kids. It was awesome and they loved it. (I think Dean loved it the most!)
Picture 3/ Yes, he did a full major-league wind up during our ‘friendly’ water balloon fight.
Only 15 tears were shed during this event 😉
Then we capped it off with s’mores brownies for all.
Halfbirthdays are fun. They’re special. And they are a tradition we plan to continue.
How about you? Do you celebrate half-birthdays? Have you ever heard of a half-birthday?