My baby celebrated his first birthday this weekend, and it made me reflect on how my life would be different if I had not quit the booze. First of all, I probably would have thrown him a party this weekend. I would have felt obligated in some silly way, because I was less secure when I was drinking and I worried more about what people thought about me. You’re SUPPOSED to throw a party for your child EVERY YEAR, right? Or else you’re a bad parent? Um, no.
So … my one year-old would have had a party, filled with mainly grown-ups, hanging out. In most social circles one year-olds don’t have a bunch of friends to invite to parties yet. His party probably would have been a good time, but it wouldn’t have been as much about HIM. His wants and needs … not ours.
In addition, there likely would have been some drinking involved at this shindig. We would have justified it to ourselves by saying that we ‘deserved’ to celebrate. Heck, we have been parents for a whole year! That IS cause to celebrate! Why do we need to drink alcohol to celebrate, though? Especially when the MAIN event … the person we are really celebrating … has no use for alcohol, parties, and large groups of people at this point in his life. He just wants to hang with the P’s, play with his toys, go for walks, take baths, chase the cats, jump on the bed … you get the idea.
Instead, we spent the whole weekend doing things that he likes to do. We saw a few friends, but we didn’t overwhelm him with a large party. We took a couple of nice walks, opened a present every few hours, made banana cupcakes that he smashed and ate, sang songs, read books, played with toys, took naps, etc. It was practically the same as a normal day except BETTER! He was so happy to be with his parents the whole weekend, and we were able to give him 100% of our attention. I didn’t think about drinking hardly at all, except that I was SO happy to be sober. It was perfect. A good introduction to birthdays for him, and no stress for me.
I can’t say FOR SURE how things would have gone down had I still been drinking, but I don’t think it would have been quite as nice. Once again, I feel that being sober is a gift you give to yourself and to the important people in your life. It’s always a good reminder.