I think in a past life I was a party planner. I’d like to think that I lived in a big city and threw huge themed parties for A-listers. So, in this life that translates into throwing mildly large, themed kids’ birthday parties. There are many moms out there who might rather stick fondue forks in their eyes than throw a kid’s birthday party; however, I am not one of those moms.
I love it.
I plan for it…
All.year.long.I might even go so far as to tell you that I love the fact that my girls’ birthdays are 7 months apart so I can constantly be planning a party.
I know. I’m an odd duck. But I love it.
I don’t know when it started and I’m pretty sure it’s partially the fault of Pinterest and partially the fact that I really can’t get my friends together in one space anymore except for our kids’ parties, but it started as my oldest daughter’s first birthday approached.
Okay, it started when she was six months old.
I knew that I wanted to throw a huge party. I mean, how often do you celebrate the first year of your first child’s life? Ummm…Once!
The theme for that first birthday party matched the theme of her nursery: pink and green. Not my finest theme but I had a color scheme.
The party took place the first weekend in May 2011 in our backyard with nearly 70 of our closest family and friends. Yup, 70. I learned a few things from that first party. The weather in Syracuse cannot be trusted (I chanced it with an outdoor party in the beginning of May and was rewarded with high 60s and blue skies. I had no backup plan). We should never open gifts at the actual party again (70 guests plus gifts equals a very bored newly one-year-old after about 2 gifts). And, most importantly, I had a blast planning parties.The themes have evolved over the years with some being more elaborate than others (Minnie Mouse, Art Party, Fun in the Sun, Under the Sea, Derby Tea Party) but the fun I have planning has yet to diminish.
I spend my weekend nights before bed pinning away on my theme boards as I think about the things my girls have loved over the past year of their lives. My theme evolves as I delve deeper and deeper into the world of Pinterest. Then, the actual planning begins. How many kids? What day? Outside or inside? Entertainment? Cake? Favors? Activities? I relish finding the perfect decoration (two years ago it was beach balls in the shape of sea creatures to float in the pool for our Under the Sea party. They were $1 apiece and perfect!), choosing the goodies, and enlisting the help of my small minion army to pull it off (this ranges from my mom and mother-in-law, to friends, godparents, and a smattering of high school students).
I know that some moms think I’m crazy. Some moms might think I am living vicariously through my kids or trying to make up for something that I missed out on as a kid myself. But none of those things are true. I don’t break the bank (I make or borrow or use what I have for all my parties). I don’t do this to buy my daughters’ love and affection (I love on them every single day for most of their waking hours). I don’t do this for gifts (We’ve asked at most parties for our friends to help us donate to a cause – last year it was blankets for the NICU at Crouse). I do this because I love it. I do this because they love it. I do this because it is an excuse for all of our friends to get together and celebrate another year of fun and laughs. I do this because it is my excuse twice a year to be creative and crafty and entertain a group of my favorite kids at the same time.
Birthday party lovin’ Mommas out there, I raise my glittered glue gun to you and your party planning fun. Birthday party not-so-lovin’ Mommas out there, come on over and have some cake and cookies in the shape of horseshoes (Derby party) and know that, no matter what, it’s really just a day for all of us to sit around the adult table and watch the littles get frosting in their hair and laugh as we celebrate another year of Mommyhood.