Saturday, May 22, 2010


6 : a social gathering; also : the entertainment provided for it

I love a good party. To be more specific, I love throwing a good party. I love the preparation for it (nothing makes me clean my house like the possibility of filling it with people), selecting the right food to serve (pizza, fruit and birthday cake, in this case) and the right drinks to offer (Capri Suns and "adult juice boxes" in the form of Mike's Hard Lemonade) and I love inviting everyone who crosses my mind (friends, neighbors, countrymen). 6 year old K is apparently like me in this regard, as her birthday bash proved last night. She was a great hostess, running down to greet friends who just arrived, grabbing a bottle of water to help a friend calm himself down, inking tattoos on kids and grown-ups alike.

K wanted a "jumpy house" for her birthday party, so I placed an order last week for an inflatable castle. Only after placing the order did I check the weather forecast: scattered thunderstorms. Hmmm. The week went by. Friend after friend RSVP'd that they'd join us Friday evening and K kept adding to the guest list, until we were expected about 50 guests last night. So it was with a bit of anxiety that I checked the weather forecast on Thursday. I didn't like what I found predicted for Friday: rain. Around 9 AM, with steel gray clouds gracing the sky and an 80% chance of rain, I had to decide whether to roll the dice and accept the inflatable's delivery. Our contract said that I could refuse to accept delivery in the case of rain, but that once accepted there were no refunds. I decided that a little rain wouldn't stop our party.

Thankfully, the rain never arrived. I spent part of the morning checking the radar every few hours, but by mid-afternoon had decided ignorance was bliss. One dad at the party asked if I was feeling particularly smart for having decided to not let the threat of rain interfere with the party. My reply? "Not smart, just really grateful."

I've never been able to figure out how to enjoy a party and catalog it in photos, so I didn't take a single picture last night. I can't show you the parents seated in lawn chairs and kitchen chairs. I can't show you the kids jumping up and down and shouting, "Kindergarten! First Grade!" as they jumped. I can't show you my husband manning the jumpy house to keep it from filling it up with too many kids - or let you hear his ear splitting whistle, followed by, "Everybody out! Time for the next group!" I can't show you K coming over to me and literally jumping up and down as she said, "Mommy! I. Am. Having. The. Best. Time!" I can't show you A's 4th grade friends playing with younger kids, keeping them entertained, helping them get snacks. I can't show you B and her friend painting tattoos on kindergartners. So you'll just have to imagine it.

And if you weren't there, you'll have to take my word for it that it was a great party. K felt honored. The guests - young and old alike - had fun. Food and drink were consumed. Connections were made and reinforced. Our home and yard were full and so was my heart.

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