You know what I am talking about. Google birthday party ideas and you will find the most beautiful decorations for all kinds of themes. I decided for our soon to be four year old that we would do a loose rainbow theme. And I do mean loose. In the end it was more of a come to the park, eat hot dogs and watermelon and fly kites (some which will be rainbow)
Remember the good old days when you were 20 and could call up 10 friends on a Friday night and say, “We’re having a party! Come on over…and bring snacks!” Next thing you know, you have a bunch of friends, food, and a great party. Now I am in my 30s and oh how it has changed. My social media is full of these beautiful, elaborate parties where the mom has hand crafted pinatas, carefully arranged all the decorations and treats (of course all fitting in with the same theme). Gone are the days that a good party could mean cake, presents, and pin the tail on the donkey. For those not so crafty moms, they can fork out their retirement fund to hosting the entire class at a theme park. (This is acceptable).
And then there is me. I hate planning elaborate parties. I hated planning my own wedding. And my kid was going to be 4. What does she want for her party? Her best buddies, a cake with flowers on it and bubbles. Done. This I can do. Why do we feel the need to create these elaborate gatherings and spend so much money on an occasion that is meant to be focused on the kids? Sure, the pictures are amazing (I probably will forget to take any, anyway.) How many parties has your kid come back from saying, “Those decorations were so lovely and coordinated.” In fact, the kids barely eat at the party. Give them a plate of icing and a handful of gummy worms and you’ve got a party!
Luckily, so far we have surrounded ourselves with some pretty easy going, supportive families. They don’t judge you when you forgot to bring a lighter and instead come to the rescue. They happily join in simple party games, help pass out cake and then watch the kids climb trees while we discuss how hard it is to get our kids to sleep at night or how we all hate packing lunches.
To me, a good party is one where my kid is surrounded by our community. They feel as loved and special and they really are, and I add as few grey hairs and wrinkles in the process…doesn’t parenting do this to us enough anyway!?