Our son’s real birthday is June 6 and our daughter’s is April 25, so the official half-birthdays in our house happen on Dec. 6 and Oct. 25. Oh, and the puppy’s birthday is July 2 so I suppose we’ll have her first half-birthday on Jan. 2.
(No, my husband and I don’t feel the need to celebrate turning 30-muffle-muffle AND A HALF.)
So what does a half-birthday involve? Whatever you want! In our house, there aren’t any gifts but we treat the day with a lot of fanfare — and there is certainly cake.
The kids get to choose what kind of cake (or cupcakes) they’d like to have, and the youngest and I do the baking while the eldest is at school.
As soon as the bus drops the elementary-schoolers off in the afternoon, we round up our neighbours and bring everybody over for a slice of cake (or a cupcake) and a glass of milk.
The kids crowd around the table, we all sing Happy Half-Birthday To You and then we dive into the homemade buttercream (which is divine, if I do say so myself — I use the Cake Boss recipe).
I also started breaking one candle in half to show the “half” they’ve achieved, so our son loved blowing out six and a half candles on Dec. 6. (Note to self: find better way to do this because a tiny stub of a candle quickly gets melted wax all over the icing.)
We’ve only celebrated two half-birthdays so far (one per kid) but it’s definitely a tradition we’re going to continue. I was surprised by how VERY excited they got to have a second “special day,” and it was a nice way to mark the fact that they really were halfway to turning a year older.
I’d slipped a tiny birthday card in our son’s lunch on the morning of his half-birthday. It was the size of a gift tag and I’d just thought it was a cute gesture — a message quickly printed out before we rushed out the door for the bus.
He carried it around with him all day, and even wrote “I love you too” on the bottom of it. We went out for dinner and he brought it with him to the restaurant, standing it up on the table so he could see it while he ate his hamburger and french fries. He told us, over and over, that it was “the best day ever.”
I noticed the little card, days later, carefully propped up on his nightstand. It was worn around the edges from being in his pocket, and he picked it up and read it out loud to me for the dozenth time.
To me, his half-birthday hadn’t been all that different than a regular Tuesday afternoon. There’d been school and deadlines and cleaning up and rushing around. I’d forgotten to ice his chocolate cake until 10 minutes before it was time to get him at the bus stop, so there was even more rushing.
But to him, that Tuesday had been a momentous celebration of the fact that he was getting closer to being seven years old. And he was absolutely right.