Party: He Sees Fun, I See Work

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.

I made Arkansas map/flag streamers

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 :))

My apple blossom, son’s diamond mine.

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….



27 thoughts on “Party: He Sees Fun, I See Work

  1. newwhitebear June 20, 2012 / 6:01 AM

    You work hard before and after. Your son fun with his friends.It’s hard to be mum

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:46 PM

      He did most of the work, I was more like the supervisor 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Newwhitebear!

  2. philosophermouseofthehedge June 20, 2012 / 6:40 AM

    The Razorbacks would be proud (you should drop the alumni association an email/links to the posts – they’d get a kick out of the story…maybe a T shirt for the party director kid?) Love this “caved under the weight of it all: the cleaning, the clutter of party games, reining in my son’s big ideas, more cleaning, etc.”
    Thanks for the hilarious read.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:48 PM

      What a fun idea, Phil! Party attendees brought him Arkansas-themed gifts, like a framed picture of the Arkansas state flag, road maps, guide books and a hand-made book of Arkansas facts. Glad you enjoyed the party update – and glad you stopped by!

  3. Richard W Scott June 20, 2012 / 7:32 AM

    The title of this piece is an especially useful idea for writers. The fact that people see things in different ways, and for each, what they see is true, real, and (cough) convenient.

    It sounds like you had a happy reminder of what it was like to see the world through a child’s eyes, and to be an agent in making a wonderful experience and memory for him.

    All in all, I’d say it was a successful day!

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:51 PM

      You’re right, Richard – we do see things differently (as our characters do). I did enjoy his anticipation of the party and excitement he had during the gathering. It was hard to overlook the ‘mess’ of my living room, though! (There’s the adult in me ruining things again :))

  4. Widdershins June 20, 2012 / 11:11 AM

    Next year he’ll be older and can shoulder more of the ‘work’!

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:53 PM

      He actually did most of the work. We had to bring the tables inside and help move furniture, but beyond that, it was pretty much him. My problem is the inconvenience of the jumbled furniture 🙂 Alas, we’ll see what happens if there is a party next year, Widdershins!

  5. Debbie June 20, 2012 / 1:07 PM

    I got a chuckle out of this one, Janna. Your aside to WD was priceless (and as a fellow writer, I appreciate your angst!). What a good mom you are for hosting your son’s party, and look at you, winning crafting prizes! Totally cool!

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:55 PM

      I think he just felt sorry for me on the craft…his really was better! He was so funny because he handed out quarters (which he’s been saving for about eight months) to winners of each game/activity. Hmmm…I wonder if WD will see this and realize they made a BIG mistake? Nah, I didn’t think so, either 🙂

  6. chlost June 20, 2012 / 4:03 PM

    As kids we threw “penny carnivals” to raise money for a charity. We did all sorts of games, had prizes, food and drinks. We put out flyers all over the neighborhood. I have very fond memories of this. One of the biggest reasons is that the grown ups in our lives supported this. A neighborhood mom dressed up and played a fortune teller. Dads helped with setting up some of the games. Parents donated some baked goods. We felt so proud that we were doing something good and that the adults thought so too.
    My point is that your son is going to have very special memories of this party and the fact that mom helped him make it a success.
    Good Stuff.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 7:58 PM

      The penny carnival sounds like fun, Chlost! When you put it like this, it makes me love the party even more. It also makes me want to encourage him to repeat next year (surely I can deal with the messy house for a few days!) Thanks for sharing your story.

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 8:43 PM

      In some ways I think I do okay, Carol 🙂 I’m praying it all evens out in the end! Thanks for stopping by tonight.

  7. Sandra June 20, 2012 / 8:20 PM

    Bless your heart, Janna! I’m so glad you wrote about the party, since I was curious to how it turned out! Who were the guests? His friends or yours? Kind of a great way to have a party without it being a birthday or holiday celebration! I can see your dread for next June 15th, though, but you might have to ‘handle’ this a few more years. Then, surely, his interest will change. I really admire your enthusiasm and support for his excitement, Janna!

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2012 / 8:50 PM

      The guests were family members, except for 4 friends of ours that know the kids well. (No kiddies from school.) The part I liked most about the whole thing was seeing his determination to pay for everything. He wanted it to be HIS party, and it was. (Kind of drove it home that he’s growing up too fast, which made me a little sad.) Thanks for checking to see how the party turned out, Sandra.

  8. pattisj June 20, 2012 / 10:46 PM

    This might be one party he never forgets.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 5:48 AM

      I hope not. I know I’ll never forget it, anyway 🙂

  9. Eric Alagan June 21, 2012 / 5:04 PM

    We have to work to have fun, I suppose. Only issue might be – who works, who has the fun. Great mum, glad it turned out well. Nice pictures for memories, I’m sure.

    • jannatwrites June 21, 2012 / 8:11 PM

      Fun can be lots of work, Eric! Thanks for stopping by to see how the party ended up.

  10. pattyabr June 22, 2012 / 5:22 AM

    I so get the feeling of parental overwhelm with children’s projects. The vision of outcome is what is missing from children’s DNA.

    • jannatwrites June 22, 2012 / 4:13 PM

      Yep! They have no idea how much work some of their ‘simple’ ideas are, Patty 🙂

  11. cuhome June 22, 2012 / 6:59 AM

    Just when you think something looks simple, add in a kid’s ideas . . . nice post!

    • jannatwrites June 22, 2012 / 4:14 PM

      You’ve got it exactly, Janet! I’m learning that it always turns into a big production, but I’ll try not to let that accelerate my “no” reflex 😉

    • jannatwrites July 1, 2012 / 5:32 PM

      Sometimes it’s exhausting, and sometimes I have to say “no”, but I hope they carry mostly good memories with them.

Got an opinion? Share it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s