After celebrating eight birthdays as a family, it would be easy to assume that birthdays are a cinch in our home. To be honest, they have been anything but easy for the past three or so years. They had became a source of contention in our home because with each passing year the jealousy and frustration had only grown thicker.
The Birthday Struggle Culprit
There isn't just one thing that made birthdays hard for my daughters. We had several including:
- The winter birthday/ summer birthday battle. Our winter daughter felt cheated. Everyone in our family has summer birthday except her, and if we are honest, summer birthdays represent fun! It's hot outside and opportunities to do things are endless.
- On top of summer representing fun, winter represented Christmas presents which my mom thought was appropriate to give during my daughter's birthday time. This was the hardest part for me because I was constantly having to explain why she shouldn't do that, and how it was adding to a deeper rooted problem.
Righting Birthday Wrongs
Thankfully, we have finally made it to a place where both of our daughters were able to enjoy their birthdays with less jealously and bitterness. As their parent, I recognized the role I played in contributing to a delicate situation. Everyone wants to be celebrated so when my winter daughter expressed that she wasn't feeling the love I should have been more diligent of protecting her birthday time for her. I won't take all the blame because I know that some good came from this learning period. Although the struggle did not feel good, both of my daughters learned valuable lessons about jealously, celebrating with others, expressing themselves, and getting to the root of their emotions.
Birthday Fun at the World of Coca-Cola
For the first time in awhile, our winter daughter had the opportunity to truly enjoy her birthday. We celebrated by surprising her with a trip to Atlanta. We visited the World of Coca-Cola and her grandmother, aunts, and cousin also joined in on the surprise by meeting us there.
During our visit to the World of Coca-Cola, we were able to learn about the history of Coca-Cola, visit the vault where the only recipe for the well-known beverage is stored, although we couldn't see it, and try 100 different flavors from all over the world.
At the beginning of our tour, our guide shared some of the highlights of the center such as the room where we could see bottling take place, and we viewed a video of many moments of happiness from different families across the country. I cried several times during the presentation. I was pitiful. The video did help me to reflect on the moment of happiness I was experiencing right then and there with my family and extended family.
The part of the center that stood out the most for us was the tasting station where we could try flavors that Coca-Cola offers throughout the world. In general, we do not drink soda, but we tried out many of the flavors, and can I tell you that some of those flavors are just plain disgusting. The flavors are set up in stations which are group by the continent where the beverage is sold. At some point, I decided I would just hang out on the North American pod. The girls ended up doing the same. They actually were in search of water to clear their palates. All in all our visit to the World of Coca- Cola was a great experience that helped us to correct the course of birthday celebrations in our home.
How does your family celebrate birthdays? Have your children struggled with jealousy? If so, how did you rectify it?