The twins had a birthday last week. This will probably be the last year that we give them a party for ANYONE they want to invite. Both invited their whole class. T1 invited the Cub Scout troupe, T2 the soccer team. We expected about 30 kids at this party. It was absurd. We booked an indoor playground (I know it's California and it was about 77 degrees outside, but still) for two separate parties with two separate cakes, snacks, paper goods, and goody bags (don't even get me started on the goody bags...). We had light up Mickey Mouse ears for 50 people.
While all of this seems like a lesson in excess, it is nothing compared to the haul of gifts they got. Gift cards, Lego sets, books, Barbies, science sets, and a marshmallow shooter (coolest toy ever. Really). I mean, the living room looked like Christmas morning.
I marveled at how generous all of their friends were. Way more than what their Christmas will look like this year. And I wonder about the message associated with all these gifts. While the kids were appreciative of what they received, I wonder if they will have a sense of entitlement at all gift-giving opportunities. Will they expect extravagant gifts from their friends next year? From us? What about giving back?
But something wonderful happened. They began playing. They opened Legos and built them. They colored, they read. T1 said, "this is more fun than watching TV!" That's when I knew there was some redemption in it all. If I can pay this generosity forward by raising self aware kids who want to explore their world instead of being told how to react to it, I'll be very blessed.