To me at least, he seems so much more mature for his age than a lot of his friends. Maybe it's the 24 hours of gymnastics a week that keeps him focused and disciplined? Maybe it's being the only boy in a house of girls. Who knows? But the fact that he turned 13 and took on the title of an official teenager seemed odd because I had already considered him a teen for awhile. But the calendar doesn't lie....
For some reason Brandon's birthday always ends up during a time that is unexplainably busy. The end of March. Really? And because he is a boy, he's usually okay with his birthday celebrations being spread out over a few days rather than one big SHAZAM!
But this year I had raised the bar with Julianne's birthday the months before. (Remember this?) And though there were specific reasons behind why I did all that I did for Julianne's birthday, I knew that I couldn't drop the ball with the rest of the birthdays this year.
Especially after I overheard Julianne and Brandon discussing birthday celebrations in terms of categories. Julianne felt like she was a category 5 (the highest) personality when it came to birthdays and holidays...all out. And was pleased to have received a category 5 celebration this year. (Phew!) As far as examples went, she had a friend that was more of a category 2 type personality...but she was going to make sure that this friend had at least a category 3 celebration. Keep in mind that in true Julianne style, all of these categories were fleshed out and detailed as to what they each meant. Brandon determined that he was more of a category 4 type person...and he was okay with that, but he certainly wouldn't mind if he got a 5 this year.
(Okay...can you say pressure?)
I took Brandon to breakfast at IHOP first thing in the morning, letting him miss the first couple classes of school.
And then we picked up donuts at Krispy Kreme to share with his gymnastics team later than evening...because heaven forbid he miss a workout due to his birthday. In all reality, I don't think there is a place he'd rather be on his big day seeing as his teammates are his very best friends.
After checking him into school I rushed home and put my plans into action. The most time consuming part...cleaning his room. I don't think it had seen heads or tails of a vacuum or dust rag in quite some time. But I cleaned the thing because I had wanted to fill his room with balloons....and not just any balloons, but balloons that had some birthday cash inside. (Which also took a long time....blowing up 40 balloons? Yeah.) Plus, having someone clean your room for you is a gift in and of itself, yes?
But see, the girls need to go Prom dress shopping and time was getting scarce with the big day fast approaching. (See what I mean? End of March...always something.) We had talked about checking out one of our favorite local stores after school. But that meant we wouldn't be around when Brandon arrived to hint that he should go check out his room. So I made a long trail of signs and arrows from the front door...first leading to a big plate of freshly baked cookies in the kitchen, a big birthday banner and his stash of presents that I had previously wrapped (with a note telling him he could eat the cookies but not to touch the presents)...and then continuing back the way he had come and down the stairs to his bedroom.
I found this on Instagram while we were shopping....
When we dropped him at gymnastics a little while later all his teammates came running over with birthday wishes and big hugs. Coach Adam had bought him a cool science book with a Doctor Who bookmark in it. And at the end of workout the boys all sang Happy Birthday to him while eating those Krispy Kreme donuts.
And when he got home he had Cafe Rio and a big chocolate cake waiting for him....along with being able to finally open his presents.
Whether it ranked as a category 5 birthday or not, I'm not entirely certain. But he sure seemed happy so I guess that's all that matters.