Our Five Ring Circus: Dylan's Sweet Sixteen Pandemic Birthday

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Dylan's Sweet Sixteen Pandemic Birthday

Sweet Sixteen Pandemic Birthday

It seems like just yesterday that I was staring down at my firstborn child, who had just arrived in our lives, making us a family of three. I blinked, and sixteen years passed by. Now I'm staring UP at my son, and wondering when he slipped through my fingers and who, exactly, this young man is! I desperately tried to slow down time, but today, he celebrated his SIXTEENTH Birthday!

When I started this blog, Dylan was 3 and Lexie was 1. Now they are both teenagers, and we have three more children. Sometimes it's really hard to wrap my mind around that! It's even more difficult to accept the fact that my first two babies are not babies anymore, and are just a few years away from leaving home. That's the point of raising children, but I don't have to like it one bit!

2020 was a rough year for everyone. We try to make birthdays a big deal in our home, but this year we had 4 major milestone birthdays, and we weren't able to celebrate with parties. Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a big deal, and we had big plans at the start of the year. Unfortunately, we weren't able to follow through with those big plans, but we made the day as special as we could for Dylan. It may not have been exactly what he expected, but he had a great 16th Birthday!

Dylan's best friend, John, slept over on Saturday night, so he could celebrate Dylan's birthday with us. As teenage boys often do, they stayed up LATE. I lasted until 2 AM, but I couldn't hang as late as them, so I put up the Happy Birthday banner, sat out our special birthday plate, and called it a night!

I have an early bird (Coen), so I had plenty of time before Dylan woke up to blow up balloons, fill up his bedroom with them, and hang up his birthday outfit. Coen and Lexie were my helpers, and we managed to accomplish it all without waking up anybody. And then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Birthday outift

Birthday Traditions

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Finally, the rest of the family woke up, and we kicked off Dylan's birthday with our traditional birthday donut breakfast! Even though his best friend was here, Dylan cooperated by sitting in the birthday seat by the fireplace, and smiling for pictures as we sang Happy Birthday to him! He's a good kid - most of the time!

16th Birthday

Pandemic Birthday

Sweet Sixteen

After breakfast, Dylan hung out with John, and everyone did their own thing for a while. I still had birthday gifts to wrap (we're always last minute around here), so I hid in my bedroom to get that done, while Grant watched the tiny tornadoes! We usually wait to open gifts until our family arrives for cake, but the only people celebrating with us tonight were my parents. The pandemic and all the restrictions ruined our hope for a Sweet Sixteen birthday party and our traditional birthday evening celebration with close family.

Dylan didn't seem to mind opening his presents earlier than usual. We did it for a reason, but he didn't realize it just yet. We did start off by telling him his presents did not contain keys to a new car. I'm already freaked out enough about him being old enough to drive, but there's no way we could or would give him a new car for his birthday! (Sorry, kids!)

One of our kids' favorite birthday traditions is getting a present from each of their siblings before gifts from mom and dad. They love choosing the gifts for the birthday boy or birthday girl, and they each get a turn in the spotlight to give the gift. I absolutely love how close our kids are, and how they get so excited about this simple tradition!

Sometimes we go oldest to youngest, and other times we go youngest to oldest. This time, Coen got to go first. He presented Dylan with his favorite drink of all time - Faygo! He even managed to give him his two favorite flavors!

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Large age gap between kids

Liam stepped up next, and happily helped Dylan unwrap his gift. Dylan was excited about his new blue, thermal shirt. He's all about skateboarding clothing these days!

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The Lucky Few

Down syndrome

Speaking of skateboarding, it was fitting that Lily was up next! Dylan is teaching her how to skateboard, and Lily wanted to give him something he needed and wanted. I didn't really think grip tape cleaner was gift-worthy, but she sure did, and he loved it!

Big Family Life

Skateboarding gifts

Finally, it was Lexie's turn. These two used to be the best of friends, but drifted apart for a few years. Now that they are both teenagers, they seem to be relating to each other again, and getting along just like they used to! It seemed fitting that Lexie gifted him a multiple device charging station and a new iPhone charging cable! Teens...I tell ya!

Raising Teenagers

Brother and Sister

When it was our turn to give Dylan his presents, we pulled a little prank on him. We didn't bring out his main gift, and instead let him open a gift of cologne, then told him that was it, and we hoped he liked everything. He took it like a champ, and said thanks for everything. 

I know he was hiding the disappointment over not getting something a little bit more special, and did it so well, so we immediately told him he wasn't done yet! Grant dragged the big box into the living room, and Dylan knew exactly what it was. He was thrilled!

See, Dylan got a TV for Christmas, and within a few months, Liam tossed something in the direction of the TV and broke it. Dylan was upset, but he's laid back, and accepted our much smaller extra TV without complaint. We decided a new Smart TV was the perfect choice for his 16th birthday, and sure enough, he loved it!

sweet sixteen birthday

Dylan and John ran off quickly to get Dylan's new TV set up, and spent the next few hours playing video games. We couldn't go out to eat for Dylan's birthday dinner like we usually do, so we got takeout from KFC - Dylan's choice! After we ate, John went home, and we got ready for my parents to arrive for cake.

Meanwhile, my sister and brother-in-law stopped in for a quick visit, and gave Dylan his gift. We weren't able to have any big birthday parties this year (I know, first world problems), and it's a bummer, so it was good to get this very small glimpse of normal. They stayed for a little bit, but had to leave shortly after my parents arrived. It was like a birthday celebration in shifts, with door handles and surfaces being sanitized between our few approved guests. Such a weird lifestyle we're living!

We ended Dylan's sweet sixteen celebration by singing Happy Birthday to him again, and eating cake and ice cream. After my parents left, Dylan went downstairs to talk to his girlfriend on FaceTime, then hung out with his siblings for a few hours. He had a great, low-key 16th Birthday!

Sweet Sixteen during a pandemic

I do feel bad that Dylan didn't have the 16th Birthday party he deserved, but he didn't seem to mind one bit! We made sure he felt special all day, and he loves the gifts we gave him. Raising teens is tough, and there are infuriating moments, but overall, Dylan is a REALLY good kid. I was smitten with him the moment I laid eyes on him, and he will always have a special place in my heart as my firstborn. He is just an extra kind and loving human being, and we wanted to spoil him. It might not have been a BIG sweet sixteen birthday, but it's definitely one he'll remember - it will be hard to forget this entire year!

Sweet Sixteen

Happy 16th Birthday, Dylan! We love you SO MUCH! 

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