Birthday parties have become such a big deal in this house, that it might be really tempting to just rent out an air-conditioned movie theater next summer! We’re all spring and summer birthdays – all of us – and I only know handmade and homemade and imaginative dreamscapes for birthday parties. My mom did all that and we had the backdrop of our huge swimming pool then too. Now did she prepare a bit better and a bit more in advance than we do? Most likely. Cassidy and I don’t really spring into action until the last possible minute, and then it’s about a week of insanity, and then we somehow pull it off. Every time.
I totally failed at invitations this year. It’s the one thing I do every year, and do well, but I had to defer it to Scarlet and Cassidy this time. I couldn’t handle the pressure. It was silly and tense, but it all worked out. A lot of our friends couldn’t make it – in fact, a whole bunch. And yet our party had about 70 people at it at one point, which just goes to show you the power of old and new friends. Silver and gold. Kids move on – through daycare and preschool and kindergarten and beyond. They shed a few friends along the way, and make a whole lot of new ones. There are some who stay forever. And how.
In the last year, I’ve become more financially independent. I’m not saying I AM financially independent, but just more so. I put my money on a Superman bounce house, and I have no regrets. I figured that even if we dropped the ball on every other aspect of the party, which would never happen, then it would still be a memorable party for the kids if it had a bounce house.
Scarlet got her very own apple tree from my in-laws, which is about the greatest gift ever. She had wanted her own baby tree, but I think there’s something very special about apple trees in Massachusetts. May they grow beautifully together.
Cassidy took home a ton of cardboard boxes, which we then wrapped together over a few nights before the party. I had no idea of his plans, but putting giant cardboard boxes with kids just has a way of working out really beautifully, as you’ll see.
I was pretty calm before, during and after the party. With all that talk of doing it more simply next year, I have my doubts we’d really downgrade. We sort of like to go big or go home. I grew up this way and it’s a gift to do this for our kids as well.
It’s a thousand miles long
To keep out the foreigners
They made it strong
I’ve got a wall around me
You can’t even see
It took a little time
To get to me”
— Paul Simon in “Something So Right”