“It’s at this point in the party planning that I begin to ask myself ‘Why am I doing this?’”
It was late on Thursday afternoon and Miss N. and I were standing in my kitchen, folding and refolding and cutting and cutting some more. A sea of blue and white construction paper littered the island – terrible paper snowflake mishaps, a scattering of paper shreds, and, finally, a handful of paper snowflake successes.
And I don’t remember word-for-word exactly what she said next but it went something like: “Because you’re creating an experience for your daughter and she appreciate it and she learns from this that we celebrate and how we celebrate.”
And, of course, she was right. So we both kept folding and cutting and the next morning I spent the entirety of baby boy’s nap time taping white thread to those babies and hanging them from the ceiling.
And, on Saturday, I did create an experience. I created a party at the north pole. And she did appreciate it. And we celebrated.
When I asked my girl later about her favorite part, she told me, “Eating cookies with my friends.” And though I have no pictures of that, or any, part of the party, the memory-vision that I have of her sitting at red and white covered tables munching on sugar cookies surrounded by a dozen little girls that have earned a place in hear heart, wearing every variety of warm, snuggly pajama, is priceless to me. Through mouthfuls of cookie, they talked of Christmas and the antics her elf had been up to (as he watched and listened from his upside down perch). I also have a memory-vision of those same girls, pajamas and all, snuggled together under blankets on my couch and floor, eyes glued to Charlie Brown and his little tree. And that one melts my heart every time my mind wanders to it.
As for the rest? Well, children’s parties are quite the learning experience, aren’t they? It takes some trial and error to find just the right number of 4-6 year olds that one house and set of party plans can handle. It takes some experiencing to realize that young children will tear through an activity, that you planned to take a half hour, in a scant ten minutes unless you give them some guidance. It takes some doing to figure out how to work yourself into the picture so you can live the magic too.
But we’ll keep at it. And we’ll get it right. I’ll keep at creating these experiences for my littles.
Because Miss N. is right. Whether the party is a wild success or doesn’t quite hit the mark of perfection I had in my mind, through each one I teach my children that we celebrate. We make the time to come together with the people we love, the ones who are important to us. We do special things to mark the occasion, to symbolize the festivity, and remind us of the joy. And if they get that message and carry that on in their lives, then every celebration will have been a success.
Tomorrow I’ll share where I got the inspiration for this shindig and how I pulled it together, complete with printables to help you plan one of your own!