The Big Day

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The Big Day

By Melanie Lewis

The “big day” arrives filed with anticipation. The big day could be an anniversary, birthday or triumphant moment such as a graduation, winning a tournament or recital. These happy times are integral to childhood memories.

Planning such an event can require Martha Stewartesque skills. Many events I’ve attended have been over-the-top affairs.  Kids were invited to a Bat Mitzvah party starting with a limo pickup to a DJ dance party with a fully catered feast. There have been birthday invites for parties with … bouncy houses, pony rides, bowling, paintball, go-carts and arcades. Such events were truly memorable. But, the predictable traditions are the ones sought after year-after-year. Traditions include: blowing out candles on the cake, grandma’s card with $10 times the number of years child’s age, New Year’s Day breakfast and the pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Trot.  At the last Turkey-trot I earned the special designation as slow-poke mama.  Thank you kids! For the special moments of achievement like good grades, or exceptional recognition, we break out the Waechtersbach plate!  THE RED PLATE is when you have done something outstanding.  I guess finishing the Turkey trot didn’t rise to that caliber. My son tying the school record for the mile did merit THE RED PLATE.

The focus is on giving an event meaning and celebration of the individual.   The kids delight in story-telling and photo albums of when they were little.  They are wild about the photos of the parents’ as children.  It’s helpful if there is a good family historian.  If there’s nobody, then take those pictures and store securely on a back-up drive.  One fire or flood and they are all just memories.  Memories are the things cherished the most.