Earlier this week a charity reached out to ask if I would help generate votes for much needed funding, to be able to continue providing birthday parties for children whose families can not afford to.
How bloody wonderful is that?
Doesn’t it restore your faith in humanity?
The timing of being contacted by the charity was very poignant as I am currently in the throes of planning my Bear’s 5th birthday party.
We don’t really have any spare income each month, so birthdays have to be heavily budgeted for. I get how difficult it must be for families on the bread line – we’re not far off it ourselves.
This year I’ve sold some old bits and pieces, which has paid for the party and got all the presents for less than £40. There’s 6 gifts to unwrap and I know he won’t be disappointed that there isn’t more or anything lavish in the ‘pile’. He’s not greedy or entitled (yet), which makes me extremely proud.
We were at a 4th birthday party today and amongst all the excitement and chaos of thirty 4 year olds, I looked around and thought ‘these kids don’t know they’re born’. Yep, I’m 100 years old. But it’s right. It was a room full of children whose families can all afford parties and presents aplenty.
Good for them. Truly. Nobody would wish poverty on someone. I hope none of those lovely little smiling faces ever know the fear of losing their home or financial insecurity or the sadness of not receiving a birthday present. I hope their parents don’t know that guilt. Not that I’m trying to shame anyone, I get what it’s like to be part of a family who’s drowning through no fault of their own. But the guilt is inevitable as a parent. We want the world for our children and sometimes we feel as though we fail to even give them the basics.
I hope that isn’t ever you.
I hope that isn’t ever me.
But if it is, just know that they won’t remember the presents when they’re older. The gifts will be (largely) of no significance and most will end up in the bin. They’ll remember the family gatherings, the walks in the woods, the way you made them feel. They will remember that you tried.
Children don’t ask for the moon, you don’t need to catch it and tie it in a bow for them.
Children ask for you to hold their hand and tell them a story under the stars.