For Elliott, we have always chosen to have his birthday's in our home town. He has a summer birthday and occasionally his conflicts with the 4th of July holiday, but all in all it is simpler (for planning purposes) than contending with a major holiday like Thanksgiving.
All of our respective family live in the same county. Plus, Grandma was always more than willing to allow us to have the parties at her house. They have a huge kid friendly yard and a pool with a water slide. Elliott being our oldest (and at the time--only) child--parties were a pretty big affair. Now that we have a second child--they seem less of a priority. I now understand why subsequent children get the shaft.
The killer part for me is always the guest list. Having the party in San Diego this year makes it a bit easier. And in the same breathe infinitely more difficult There is always the question of who to invite. I don't want to leave anyone off the list lest I insult someone, but I also don't want to burden anyone with an invite if it's going to be drag. Do I invite all my home town friends? Do I invite Elliott's friends (who subsequently are my friends as well)? Do I invite my friends who have kids? How are we going to fit and feed all those folks into our house? Since his birthday is in the winter--there is no telling if the skies will be cooperative or not.
Then, there is the family factor. If I have the party in our home town I can be assured that my family will attend. It will be uncomfortable for everyone to be in the same room with one another--but they will do it in the name of my adorable son. But, the fact that this year I have taken a stand and chose to have the event in San Diego sets my heart up for disappointment. The last time I remember my Mom coming to San Diego was when Elliott was 2 weeks old. My sister hasn't been to visit me in more years than that. And my Aunt's last visit was my wedding--5 years ago. In their defense, they are busy and traveling costs money. I understand all of that. But, it is still disappointing for me--it is only a 3 hour drive. One that I make 6-7 times every year with my kids in tow.
Irrationally, I admit, I always position their love for me and my kids up against the excuse of not enough money and/or time--and my kids and I always lose. Or so, it feels. Now, I know that nothing is that simple or black and white. But, it doesn't change the fact that I still feel let down and disappointed. Keeping in mind the whole time, of course, that the party is for my son and not for me.
The invitation was sent. The only thing left to do is wait, and hope that I don't feel disappointed when all is said and done.