Keeping it simple: Happy Birthday, Buster!


Having a baby is the best. I like it so much that I can’t believe everyone doesn’t have a billion babies. They’re so great!

But babies come with a lot of stuff. Piles of stuff from loving friends and family and even acquaintances who have huge hearts and want to help you celebrate the fact that you grew a life within your body like a god (seriously, ladies, WE ARE INCREDIBLE).

The stuff piles up quickly, and the next thing you know, you’ve got piles of outgrown onesies on your kitchen counter and your previously minimalist living room is littered with baby toys just big enough to trip over. And given that my son’s favorite Christmas present was quite literally an empty box (thanks, Home Depot!), it’s more stuff than you probably need.

There’s no better parent than someone who doesn’t yet have children. It’s easy to say how you’ll parent before you have kids, but nearly a year in, I know I was right about one of my pre-baby notions: less is more.

We’ve moved three times in the past three years, which has given us plenty of opportunities to pare down our belongings, and that means our son’s belongings, too. He doesn’t need a room filled with toys as much as he needs our time and attention (and an empty box. Can’t live without that empty box).

My sister in law refers to her kids’ need for stuff as their “wanter,” an urge that can be controlled with a little perspective. Our culture teaches kids to want, want, want all kinds of things, but as a family, we want to focus on a life that’s filled more with experiences than objects.

In just a few weeks, our human is going to be a year old! And to celebrate, we’ll eat cake and he’ll eat a banana and we’ll take a page from Bleubird with his gifts:

Something he wants: A BOB rain cover for the stroller, so he can come on more runs with Mother and Father. Is this more of something I want? Yes. I’m not perfect, people.

Something he needs: Earth’s Best formula. Hey, meeting his essential needs is truly a gift.

Something to wear: New jammer jams. Because when you sleep like 50% of your life, you better be looking fly.

Something to read: A book of simple Chinese phrases because I am insane and clearly, a kid who has yet to master even one word of English will love a book of Chinese!

For friends and family who want to celebrate that Buster was born, we’re asking just for handwritten cards. I’m a digital lady, but I’ve kept nearly every piece of correspondence I’ve received in my life. I want our guy to have a worn out box of cards and letters  that he can go through in 30 years, because nothing in this world can beat the gift of love.