My son reveled in the planning of his party to celebrate the anniversary of Arkansas’ statehood. While he burst at the seams from excitement, I nearly caved under the weight of it all: the cleaning, the clutter of party games, reining in my son’s big ideas, more cleaning, etc.
I’d say the party was a success. We had more people than seating, but the most coordinated of us stood while eating pizza. (Growing up, we ate most meals sitting on the couch, plates in our lap. We joke that it’s a life skill everyone should learn.) My husband doesn’t have this skill, and I don’t have the desire to clean dropped food off the carpet, so our family eats at a table (situated on a tiled floor.) I digress.
He set up games all over our living room. (I killed Perfection – the game where you fit all the shape pieces in the board before the timer goes off and pops the pieces out.) I offered to be the carnie, hollering at people to ‘step right up’ but son just looked at me like I was crazy (the normal look he gives me) and declined the offer. At least others laughed so I didn’t feel like a total loser.
For six days, he nagged reminded me to come up with a craft project. I’m old. I don’t do craft projects, but for him, I dug deep into the recesses of my childhood memories for inspiration. I made an apple blossom picture from torn up pieces of tissue paper. The party attendees judged the projects: my son’s project (a diamond mine) and my project tied for first place. It earned me a cool $1.25 in prize money. (See, I can win a contest. Take that, Writer’s Digest :))
On Sunday, all the toys and games were stored, tables folded up and the room arranged back to its normal state. I stood back and admired the emptiness of the previously cluttered space. My son interrupted my quiet enjoyment of our “normal” room.
“That party was so much fun, I can’t wait to do it again next year!”
I opened my mouth, with “no” just a breath away. But then I saw the look of pride on his face, and he practically glowed from the joy of his accomplishment.
Instead, I said, “I’m sure it will be fun.”
Maybe his interests will change.
More than likely, we’ll have a party on June 15th, between 12:30 and 3:30, with pizza and cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting….