I have a confession: I am a birthday-party-planning junkie. Full on. I can’t help myself. As soon as one of my children’s birthdays begins to inch its way closer on my calendar, I begin vibrating with possibilities. It is almost as if I have my own little competition in my head with Martha Stewart. And it is completely and entirely unnecessary.
Let’s face it. Kids really are not that hard to please when it comes to this stuff. So why do I insist on doing more than I need to? I usually ask myself this question when I am drowning in handmade decorations, when my fingers are stained with icing color, and when I am to the point where I need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the activities and details on the agenda. So basically, I am asking myself that question at this very moment because, presently, that is the stage I am at in preparation for Grace’s birthday party this weekend.
I have to admit that when Grace told me that this year she wanted to have an art party, I was elated…unlike when she chose Dora the Explorer for her third birthday. Where is the creativity in that? Sheesh, three-year-olds know nothing. I am completely energized when my kids choose a party theme I can run with. It’s a sickness. Really, it is. And an art party has the perfect combination of specificity and openness for interpretation. Grace just wants to “do art.” The rest is up to me. Now, a normal mother would realize the gift she has just been given with that statement. The bar is set pretty low. Some paper. Some crayons. Do art, kids! And then we’ll eat some cake. Badda bing, badda boom. You got yourself a party. But no, not me. I took that statement as a challenge, scoured Pinterest, and had an entire sheet of paper full of ideas mere hours after Grace had informed me of her chosen theme. Like I said,…a sickness. If only I approached more things in my life with such zeal
I am not going to kid anyone (or myself for that matter) and say I go party-crazy simply for the benefit of my kids. Part if it is selfish. I love doing stuff like this, even if sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. But I can at least rest easy in knowing my intention IS for my children. The way I look at it, birthdays are special. I may fail in other aspects of parenting, but at least my kids can always look back and say, “Mom sure threw us some kick-ass birthday parties.” After all, in my eyes the reason for these celebrations, the days my children were born, were better than any party I could ever have. So the least I can do is try to convey the immeasurable joy I felt on those days through some streamers and party games.
So I guess overall, it is not such a bad thing that I am a birthday-party-planning junkie. I also realized that this year, Grace has taken an interest in helping me with the preparation. She was so excited when I came home with bags from Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart full of supplies, and she wanted to help me make the decorations. I have to say, that was pretty cool. To watch the delight she was taking in the anticipation of her party, of having a hand in creating it, made me realize that planning these parties WITH my kids might be just as much fun as the party themselves.
And at the very least, I am getting free labor out of it. 🙂 Now enough of this blogging. My free labor is at school right now, and I have some paint chip garland that won’t make itself.