Birthday parties are big deals in this household. In the weeks leading up to the party, I am creating photoshop invitations, running to the print shop, cutting, glue gunning, and cursing my way to party readiness. No water bottle lies naked – all are perfectly wrapped with a coordinating and customized paper. Food dishes are identified with a neat pop-up tent label. Goodie bags are stuffed with an arsenol of useless (but coordinating!) crap. And on party day, I wipe off the sweat, put my game face on, and revel in the ooohs and aaaahs from guests.
My daughter just turned three. And this year was going to be no different. I sat down on the computer, pinteresting all things “Frozen Party” related, recording a list of adorable decor and food ideas. I was about an hour into the hell of invitation design in Photoshop, my daughter tugging at my shirt for attention, when it hit me.
I closed the document without saving, tossed the 20 item list of, and breathed a sigh of realization, relief, and defeat. I sent a group text to the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles – “What are you doing the afternoon of July 5th? Can you come celebrate Hayden with us?? xoxo” DONE.
We then headed to Target, and with my giddy little girl by my side, we picked out some Frozen paper plates, napkins, and plastic tablecloths. We even threw a Frozen pinata in the cart. AND THAT WAS IT. We drove home, dumped the loot on the ground, and oooohh’d and ahhhh’d over it. And just like that, the Pinterest-loving part of my soul died a little.
But we played that day, and as the party neared, we played more. And the morning of the party, I bought some water bottles (naked ones!) and juice boxes. And I ordered pizza. And I taped down our plastic table covers and set up the paper plates and napkins.
And I celebrated my three-year-old… not covered in beads of sweat with everything just.so… and not reveling in the compliments of the party decor (because there were none). But I watched her sweet face light up with birthday well wishes, and dancing, and <grocery-store-bought> cake. She was happy. And I was happy.
And I remembered by childhood birthdays – gatherings of my friends in McDonald’s indoor play area, my mom carrying a tray of 39 cent cheeseburgers. There was such joy. And celebration. And LIVING.