notes from a birthday party.

march is birthday season around here.  cakes, party, gifts.  both thalia & kieran, my middle kids, arrived just as spring was getting her groove on.  which lends a big ol’ “wahoo!” to the advent of spring.

march is also one time of year when i yank out all my mothering insecurities, lay them carefully on the table, & try to iron them out.  mid-february of every year, i start to get an internal jitter.  not one but TWO birthdays are coming, & what are we going to do?  what kind of theme do they want?  (i hate themes.)  what kind of cake?  where should we go & do i have to come up with games?  bah.

when this quaver starts, i begin chattering at andy.  which he loves.  & i try to be all nonchalant about it:  “ummm, hey andy — uh, what should we do for the kids’ birthdays this year?”  trying to act cool, like i don’t really care what we do.  it’s no biggie.  my entire persona as a good mother is absolutely not hinging on my birthday performance.

andy:  “i don’t know.”

me:  “we could blah, blah, blah. . . ”  & i keep rattling, because, you know.  that’s fun to listen to.

the funny thing is, i know that i know that i KNOW that i don’t have to arrange a spectacular, wonderful, magnificent extravaganza for my children with clowns & balloons & a unicorn jumping out of a cake.  but part of me gets all pinterested & feels insecure at my inability to conjure up one interesting party game.  (i hate party games.)  i do this every year — dread birthday season — & every year it’s a remarkable time of lavishing love on the kids, in spite of me & my panic.

maybe i’m not the only one who gets hung up on trying to be impressive instead of just trying to be, & letting that be enough.

with that disclaimer out of the way, i give you the 2014 edition of March Birthdays at the Britz House: thalia crafted  her own cake design this year, a leaf on a chocolate cake.  the kids voted for a renaissance/Lord of the Rings party. thal & her pals.  while i hid in the kitchen stirring something, andy & his mom & the kids turned our living room into a forest.  i called it Mirkwood, thinking i was smart.  javin reassured me i wasn’t. the pinata Grandma Maria (“GraMaria”) crafted for us, completele with javin’s angry bees. the icecream, by my brother & our friend henry, who owned that big blue beauty. this is about the best shot i could get of kieran.  he mowed through his presents, tissue paper flying, while i scrambled to connect gift to card to giver.  an absolute devouring, wolf on prey.  a very smiley, cute wolf. thalia, meanwhile, savored. assembling legos with auntie Jen’s adept guidance. I part of my inner circle, these dear women who wash dishes at parties & corral children for gift-opening & compliment my cake. Papa Don with my nephew, Gabriel. Gramaria singing the pinata song & directing the smacking.

IMG_0348

the candy flew, the cake went fast, the icecream was amazing, we played no party games (though andy & the kids prepped some).  the kids even took themselves outside while the adults sat & had conversation.  i know.  i had to blink hard to make sure it was real.

so, my party-planning assessment is this:  pretty much, after a solid Word to the heavens, i sat back & watched each festive detail spring into action, no worry required.

who knew my panic wasn’t necessary?

& you know what?  it may have been the best party we’ve had yet.

2 thoughts on “notes from a birthday party.

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