Jul 8, 2009

You’re the 1, Goldilocks!

As parents, we always want the best for our children. That's why we always give them the best, or at least try to. But there are times when even if we want to, we can't give them the best, however much we try. And that hurts.

Especially when we are talking about birthdays.

My husband and I had managed to give our kids decent birthday parties through the years. We prepare for them, we allocate funds for these celebrations months before the important days of their lives, and in times we did not have the money, we had always managed to find ways.

Last year, however, we were not able to give Basti a birthday bash fit for a 7 year old. They say that turning 7 is an important milestone and should be celebrated with a grand party. Well in Basti case, he didn't have one.

That's why when I read the invitation for "You’re the 1, Goldilocks!" I immediately knew I will write about Basti's 7th birthday. But it took me a long time to post it here. For one, I could not find the pics that will go with it. Second, I'm still having a hard time writing about it. But I knew that I had to share this, pictures or no pictures, and although there's a little bit of ache in my heart.

I just gave birth to my youngest in August and we were still in the process of "recovering" financially. Earning alone for more than 2 months, my husband provided for the whole family, as he always does, but then Simon was hospitalized when he turned a month old, which left our resources depleted. As much as we would like to give Basti a party at school, or at the house, as he was used to, we could not afford it. We also had this notion to celebrate his birthday with just us, the family, to make it more meaningful, which I now realized was sad for a 7 year old boy.

We talked about this to Basti weeks before his birthday. He look crestfallen at first realizing that he will not get gifts from the party-goers, but he bounced back immediately, and said that it was okay, as long as we go to SM and play the day away at Quantum, adding "Birthday ko naman e!"

And so, my husband and I made it a point that even if there would be no party for him, we'd make it a very happy day indeed. And so, on his 7th birthday, off we went to SM Sucat to celebrate. We ate at his favorite fast-food where Basti and Sam indulged on their fave spaghetti, fried chicken, and French fries, complete with the kiddie toys. He played the day away at Quantum, and we bought the two of them toys. The kids had a fabulous time! Basti looked his happiest, and Sam did too. There were lot of giggling, and running, and excitement over what game they'll play next. So we were all right.

But right before we went down the elevator, there was Goldilocks. I was walking ahead of the boys and their father, and thought I should check out the cakes. As look at the cakes, I said to myself I have to buy him a cake. I thought, all the special occasions his life, he had Goldilocks cakes; from his baptismal to his birthdays, graduations from nursery, prep, kinder, he'd had Goldilocks. The same goes with Sam. The only occasion we did not have a Goldilocks cake was when Simon was baptized and that's only because the restaurant we picked supports another brand. I asked myself then, can I afford it?

The kids can see me as I look at the cakes and then I turned away to look for them. And that's when I saw Basti crying, with what seems to be so much pain in his heart, like I've never seen him cry before. I asked why, and he BAWLED "Sabi ni Papa, hindi mo daw ako ibibili ng cake!” And I hug him, and said, holding back the tears, "Of course I will!" and cast his father a deadly look, who just smiled there, saying, he was just teasing Basti and was as surprised as I was with his reaction. Apparently when I was looking at the cake, he teased Basti and said, "Uyyyy, ibibili sya ng cake!" And then as they saw me turn away from the cake display, he said "Ay,, hindi pala". And that's when Basti started crying.

I hugged him and told him we'll pick a cake for him. I thought, here is a child who does not mind having a party, does not mind having balloons or mascots, or being with classmates and friends on his birthday, crying over a Goldilocks cake.

He picked out a small cake, moderately priced which we can afford (I crossed my fingers) and he proudly carried the small package. What he picked was a small Black Forest. The look in his eyes told me he would be alright. As we went inside the elevator down to the ground floor, he gave his father and me a sheepish grin, embarrassed, I guess, with his own show of emotion. We told him jokingly, how could he even think we won't buy him a Goldilocks cake, but deep inside, our hearts ache, yet thankful we are at least able to give something that he wants so badly.

We did not go home afterwards, Basti wanted to drop by his Lola's house to share the cake. Yes, a Goldilocks cake, would not be as sweet and delicious if not shared with love ones. As Basti took a slice of his very own cake (and Sam looks on excitedly), I realized that it does not take a grand birthday party to make a kid happy. It just takes a Goldilocks cake!

You’re the 1, Goldilocks, because you made my little Basti's birthday complete!