Today, we celebrated Joel’s birthday. I still cannot believe he turned 5. In the morning I walked in his room with a homemade muffin and a candle in it singing happy-birthday.  He got dressed quickly because he knew his gifts were in the kitchen. Thank you Oma and Opa in Germany!!! We had breakfast, talked about our dreams like every morning but one question came up. “When someone does not call or send a gift on my birthday, does this mean they don’t love me?” I told him, that sometimes people are very busy and have no time but they still love you and sending gifts does not mean someone loves you. It takes a lot more than that. These are just materialistic things. He was fine with this explanation.

All his friends came over to our apartment and this birthday party was fantastic. Wine for the parents, food, snacks, candies, and the kids played so nicely in my son’s room for almost 2 hours straight. I had games planned, stories I wanted to read to them but they seemed so calm and content. No tears, no fights, I just let the kids be kids and play. No entertainment needed. This made me think of my birthday parties at my parents’ house. It was always awesome and comfortable. Often, I tie memories and experiences in my life to the things I had during those times. How much fun I had as a kid during my birthday parties; I want my son to experience the same things. Family, comfort, safety, and calmness even though these kids were losing it playing. [Joel’s room is still a disaster but who cares]. And I know he will remember this party, these feelings, and emotions he had because he lived in the moment. And so did all his friends.

While I sat in the kitchen with parents who wanted to stay and decided to hang out at my little apartment I thought about living in the moment. I sat there with them, we talked and it felt good. There were no problems. Often, the only difference between a problem being powerful is a sense that we chose it, and that we are responsible for it in some way. But if we shift our mind and say that it is all okay and it will all work out, it will. And experiences and memories shape us into who we are in this exact moment. While talking to the other moms I realized that our memories are built into us, and make us who we are. It was amazing to listen to some stories one mom shared about importance. While we may not remember the exact situation or times that something important happened in our lives, the results are within us. And they shared some of those experiences while the children played. It was awesome. After all, we have evolved to become the people we are today because of those past experiences.

Most of the guests left at around 6.45 pm. Some really close friends stayed longer. It was awesome to talk and hang out and chat about Panda Watch. Eventually, the guests left and we took my son to bed. He curled up and told me that he loves us and said thank you for everything. My heart melted. I cleaned up and started working on my assignments for school when my son called me again. He was still up because he was so excited and wanted to cuddle with me for a bit.  While I climbed up in his bunk bed he asked me who my (super)hero is. I told him that I do not have a (super)hero. He said that he loves me and that I am his hero because I have superpowers to make a party like this. He kissed me goodnight and fell asleep within five minutes. I stayed in his room for a bit longer and wiped away a tear or two.  What a fairytale ending to a perfect birthday party.

Am I perfect? No way. We are all always choosing. Choosing to send a gift, choosing to send an email or making a phone call. There is just this simple realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter what the external circumstances are. We cannot always control what happens to us but we can always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond. We are always responsible for our experiences. It is impossible not to be, right? Choosing to not consciously interpret events in our lives is still an interpretation of the events of our lives. Choosing to not respond to certain events is still a response.

Am I my son’s role model? Yes! He trusts me. I am his safety and security without shame, guilt, insecurity or blame. Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what is occurring to and within us. We are also always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence and choose the values by which we live and the metrics by which we measure everything that happens to us. Even if it is a kids’ birthday party. The real question is: What are we choosing to give a f*** about? What values are we choosing to base our actions on?

I received great feedback for Joel’s birthday party from parents already which is so great. It was my pleasure! As it turns out, these days I have had many worthwhile parenting experiences on my own. Do you want to know my secret?  I share emotional stability, I am warm and friendly, energetic, compassionate, and intuitive but also open, sincere and excited about life. This is such an easy way to give and receive love and have healthy relationships with people (like this afternoon). But what it all boils down to is that my heart is full, as is my life.

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