A Birthday Whirlwind
In Fairfield County, a child's birthday can be as grand as a wedding
Photograph by iStockphoto.com
When Hayden turned one in 2010, it was a huge spectacle. She was the first born grandchild on my parent’s side and it was to be treated as though it were the royal wedding. I’ve always felt bad for my husband’s side of the family. When we got married in 2005, we had invited 480 people - only thirty were from his side. It can’t be easy to walk into a huge, overprotective Italian family. Yet, he did. I think it’s the unlimited amount of food that keeps him around.
Anyway, Hayden’s 1st birthday was no different. It was as though she were the first child in the history of children that had ever turned one. We rented out Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in Norwalk. Not the party room, but the entire museum. We scaled down the invite list to a mere 150, rented tables and chairs, had the catering set from my parent’s Italian restaurant (Via Sforza in Westport) and baked 1,100 cupcakes. Oh, I’m sorry; you thought you read that incorrectly? No, no, no. We baked 1,100 cupcakes. It was the theme of the party. In retrospect, it is now abundantly clear that we went overboard. Yet, something just comes over you when you’re staring into the eyes of a beautiful little child that is your own. Either that or I was just so sleep deprived for the entire first year that I was delusional, which is also very much a possibility.
The night before the party came the huge March storm of 2010. People were without power for weeks. The most trees in the history of CT storms had fallen, and of course, Stepping Stones did not have power, like much of the surrounding area. I remember my heart breaking for all the families that had trees fall on their roofs which meant devastation for a lot of people. But selfishly, I cried because my baby girls birthday was ruined. It’s times like that when your true family and friends come shining through. I had people at my house calling guests to cancel within an hour. Storm or no storm, canceled or not, my close family and friends refused to have Hayden’s party ruined and showed up anyway at the house with presents and ready to eat. Of course, Hayden didn’t know the difference, but I did. Eventually, Stepping Stones could re-schedule us in June. Taylor Rental gave me 50% off for having to re-rent all the tables and chairs and the magician didn’t charge a dime to re-schedule. Come June, on Hayden’s 1 year and 3 months birthday, we did it all over again complete with another 1,100 cupcakes. Oddly enough, it felt much more special the second time around.
This past week, Hayden turned 3. The memory of that first birthday seems so distant now, yet I feel like I can close my eyes and remember every emotion of standing there holding my baby girl blow out her first candle. This time around, we invited Hayden and 29 of her closest friends to Pump It Up in Norwalk, followed by a family gathering at the house. I don’t ever want to plan another massive event like the 1st again - well, at least not until her wedding.
There’s just something so amazing about staring into the eyes of my three year old and seeing how mature and grown up she has become. It has finally dawned on me that she is not my baby anymore. She’s a full blown kid. I wish I could bottle this up and keep it forever. I think birthdays are an incredible time to sit back and reflect on just how much they have grown, but also how much I have grown as a person and more importantly, a Mommy.
Anna Sforza-Zapotosky is the definition of a multi-tasker. Why have one love when you can have many? She is a full time Realtor with William Raveis Real Estate servicing all of lower Fairfield County. You can hear her as “Anna Zap” on-air with Connecticut radio stations, 95.9 The Fox and Star 99.9. She has performed standup comedy all over New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Her most important role though is as a Mommy to her beautiful three year old daughter Hayden, and wife of seven years to her college sweetheart, Paul. Together, they are making it in Fairfield County.