If you know Ian, you know he is often the center of attention, loud, exciting, colorful, and unpredictable. It is so fitting that he was born on the night of the Fourth of July as fireworks were exploding in the sky. So, while the rest of the country celebrates Independence Day, we in the Jenkins home celebrate Ian and how he has impacted our family for the better.
I love traditions. We had very few traditions growing up, and so I cherish memories of the ones we had and attempt to continue the ones that I can. One thing we didn’t really have many traditions around was our birthdays, and so I want to have memorable, exciting traditions for our kids on their birthdays. I really just want their birthdays to be a day of favorites focusing on spending time as a family and not so much on gifts.
This year, Ian turned three. It was really the first year that he could tell us what he wanted or preferred, so Jeremy and I crafted a day of favorites for Ian.
It was important to me that the day start with a bang so that Ian knew that it was in fact, finally his birthday. We had been building anticipation for about a week, and every day he would ask if it was his birthday yet. After Ian went to bed on the third, Jeremy and I crafted this lovely balloon wall to fall on him as he opened his door in the morning. Thankfully we’re also attempting to sleep-train Clara (for about the fifth time), so we were conveniently up at 4:30 in the morning with a screaming baby so we didn’t miss it when he woke up.
I made a cinnamon roll breakfast, and Ian got to blow out candles on his cinnamon roll “3,” and drink orange juice which is a special treat for him.
Throughout the morning he Face-Timed with most of the family and he really understood that this day was a special day for him. It was exciting that he understood this year. We asked him what his favorite food was and he said “chocolate” followed by “pizza.” So, we headed to CiCi’s Pizza for lunch. (Free kid entry for wearing red-white-and blue; holiday birthday win.) He ate more pizza than I did.
He took a quick nap, and then he and Jeremy headed out to see the movie Cars 3. The other Cars movies are some of his favorite movies so as soon as the Cars 3 trailer came out we knew we would take him on his birthday this year.
Uncle Reuben brought him a flying rocket toy after the movie and had a grilled hot dog dinner with us. We closed out the evening with his “Pawsome Cake.” (Paw Patrol is his favorite show.) It was a big hit.
Overall it was a great day for Ian. Jeremy and I are overwhelmed with thankfulness that God saw us fit to be Ian’s parents. These past three years have taught us so much about love, patience, joy, and grace. Parenting is an incredible journey, and birthdays are such a reminder of what we have been through and how we’ve grown.