Hayden’s birthday is on Saturday, along with her party. In typical fashion, on top of party planning, I started fifteen more projects that I need done by Saturday as well. I’m not even completely sure how it happens. It’s like auto pilot and then I realize at some point that I’m in over my head.
In years past, we’ve done the family only party. The big party. The multiple parties. The parties where we go to a venue and have two hours to party, eat and open presents and rush to get out the door with ripped down decorations in our arms. This year she turns five, and I wanted something different. Her request was for a pool/pizza/tea party with her friends. So we compromised with a tea party at the house, Alice in Wonderland themed. Her and five of her favorite people friends are going to tea party it up, Mad Hatter style.
This week has been filled with making signs, and giant poms. Tassel garlands and goodie bags. Photo booth props and table decor. Cookies and cakes baked to decorate tomorrow night.
As said before, all this was being done along with swimming lessons, gym classes, working around Andy’s ever changing work schedule, a teething toddler, laundry, and attempts to keep the house somewhat clean. As if this wasn’t enough, I felt the need to paint a couple rooms too.
Hayden’s room being one of them, so it needed to of course be done in time for the festivities. I didn’t want her friends to sleep over in a half finished bedroom. Who needs that kind of judgement?
For some of you, probably my husband included, all the blood, sweat and tears going into a five year old’s party is over the top. Unnecessary and silly. And a bit dramatic. But perhaps what gets overlooked, is the fact that this is one of the FUN parts of being a parent. My day to day consists of tantrums and bad attitudes. Countless loads of laundry and picking up the same toys fifteen times a day. Meals and snacks ALL DAY LONG. Wiping booty after booty. Trips to the bathroom are never in solitude and more often than not, once I get a meal it gets picked apart by the tiny people who at that very moment are STARVING.
When the time comes that I get to be creative and be something a little more than someone’s mom, I thrive. I get to be a party planner. Baker. Decorator. Chef. Event Coordinator. Hostess. Crafter. I may pile on the projects and take on more than I can chew, but the end result is always worth it. Some of my most vivid memories as a kid was my room. Every time a new Disney movie came out, I become obsessed. My mother would spend countless hours repainting my room. Hanging wallpaper. Buying new bedding and throwing me themed parties. The Little Mermaid, Lion King, Pocahontas and Beauty and The Beast to name a few. When I think about it now, it was so much work for her but I remember it made me so incredibly happy. It fed my imagination and I played for hours living in this magical world she had made possible. It all makes sense now.
We can spoil our children with the newest toys. Phones, and tablets and the latest games. With expensive clothing and the trendiest shoes. While all these things make them happy, I find it’s short lived. I want to show my children with a little paint and hard work, your room can be transformed into something special. With patience and effort, you can create magic with something as simple as paper and glue. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy party, or you can spend very little and use your imagination to turn your own living room into an entirely different world where you and your friends can be anything you want to be. All my energy and efforts and the curse words under my breath are so that when my daughter turns five she will have lasting memories where she dressed up like Alice and poured tea for her friends. Where she chased them around in a circle during musical chairs. Built secret hideouts. Where she watched movies and ate popcorn and got to giggle with her friends all through out the night when they slept over. I imagine she will get all sorts of exciting gifts from her friends, but I’m doing all this so that when she wakes up the next day, and hopefully the weeks to come, she will talk about her Alice birthday party. I do all this to create incredible memories, not only for her, but for me. Because to see this goofy happy face gives it all a beautiful purpose.