Last Sunday was my son’s 4th birthday party and I thought I had learned something from the previous 3. But I didn’t. Once again I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off for two hours before the party. I had to pick up pending supplies at two different stores in the middle of church traffic. Did I mentioned I live in North Florida? There are churches on almost every corner.
Finally, I made it home with a bunch of balloons covered by a huge bag that looked like a flying mattress, a Transformers cake and 4 bags of ice and soda. I scrambled to put the last touches on the decorations, which I spent the entire morning hanging and taping on the walls and ceiling. Then I had a glass of water, the only thing I drank since breakfast, and enjoyed the silence before the storm.
A few minutes later, the little guests and their parents arrived on time (except the Colombians of course) and all the kids ran outside to get on the Justice League bouncy house, which by the way was worth every penny. For once I was able to wait on my guests without feeling I was neglecting my son.
I could hear him screaming out of sheer happiness with a background of belly laughs from 5 children jumping all over each other like clothes in a dryer.
Then the rain came. First, it drizzled while the kids whacked the Optimus Prime piñata and later poured with a fury while we sang Happy Birthday and cut the cake. Not a minute later my little boy begged me to open his presents and then another kind of rain appeared (tissue paper) and flooded the patio. The sight of his sparkling eyes and big smile while ripping bags and wrapping paper to shreds made my aching back and feet completely numb. It just feels so good when you can make the ones you love happy.
Aftermath? The crispy treats I made where gone (Martha Stewart’s spirit possessed me the night before of course) The popcorn, fruit, pretzels and chips disappeared as well. The cake though… I think I ordered one a little too big. My husband said to me: “Were you expecting the real Transformers to show instead of a bunch of toddlers?“
The problem these days is that everybody is on a diet and watching their weight. Not me, especially if good cake is around. I have two plastic containers of left overs that surely will end up on my hips. But what the heck, there is always liposuction or what my hubby calls “the true workout Made in Colombia.”
So the storm of the party passed and I could relax. Well… if cleaning up means relaxing. But before I said good night to my 4 year old baby I realized that he taught me a valuable lesson:
Making a child happy is cheap. We the parents are the ones that make it expensive. Even though my son jumped his butt off in the bouncy house he was most happy while playing soccer with his buddies in our free of cost back yard. Darn! I could have save a few hundred dollars.
Nevertheless, the party was also for me, to feed my need of control and perfection. No matter if I lost a toe while carrying the big folding table by myself (remember last week’s post? Yes, my dear husband is still injured) or if I ran over a granny with the grocery kart while competing for the checkout line.
My son will always know that he can count on his mom, no matter what. I am not a Transformer but I am his Optimus Mom.
Thanks for reading and sharing.