The boys of the group enjoyed the bouncy house that we had rented at the last-minute (a godsend!). The weather held out for the first hour so the kids got to enjoy bouncin’ and running around the yard and the parents were able to head outside rather than squeeze in our kitchen and living room. We even got to use the pinata I got from my Aunt Christina! Of course, my dad and Jon had to get out their pocket knives and rip into the poor pinata in order to get it to open but we did make the kids close their eyes during that part!
Maria turned 5 on May 2. It was official at 2:41 pm – I still remember laying on that hospital bed five years ago,seeing her head crown in the mirror, and getting that last burst of energy to push her out. And then … swoosh! There she was…my daughter with her black hair and pug nose and tiny, sweet, doll-baby body. And now here I was looking at that little munchball turning five. My heart skipped beats throughout the day thinking about her getting a year closer to teenage-hood. Or, in looking back at that day, it could have been skipping due to the 21 kids we had running through our tiny house that afternoon.
I had been planning Maria’s soiree since she had decided to have her party at our house. She wanted to invite all of her school friends, prior school friends, cousins, and neighborhood friends. I had hoped that she would want it at a gym (like last year) or a pool – anywhere other than our tiny house! But she is a home body, and she wanted it nowhere other than her own home. And, she wanted a “girl” party with make-overs and nail polish and hair-dos. But she also wanted to invite boys.
I spent hours perusing the internet for games and ideas for an at-home party. It did not hit me until that day at how insane it was for me to research “how to have a party” for a five-year old. Some of the sites were so intense that they had the party routine down to 15 minute increments (play hot potato from 1 to 1:15 and then move onto crafts from 1:15 to 1:30 but don’t go to far over 1:30 because you will want to have room for the princess dance from 1:30 to 1:50…). My psyche knew when to slow me down and I ended up picking only one game from my review of different sites and kept myself from going crazy by not trying to plan out every second of the day.
The kiddies and their parents began to arrive right at 2 pm. Our humble 1200 square foot home remained in good spirits as people continued to step inside. The girls bolted up to the bedroom for make-up and nails and hair. I felt a little awkward at first because some kids did not know the others and some mothers the same, Also, Maria immediately glued herself to certain girls and not others.
“Come on, Ri, pay attention to all your guests.”
“I am mom!”
Eventually, I had that talk with my neurotic inner self and let go of my anxiety around everyone talking and knowing one another. I just let it all be, and god, was it refreshing. I found that as soon as I let it all go, I saw all the girls chatting and laughing; I saw parents engaging in lively conversation. It really can come down to what colored glasses you choose to wear.
Mario was the ultimate clingy son (he had stayed a couple of days with grandma and grandpa i. so he was wanting his mommy non-stop when he came home). But once he saw the princess make-up, nails, and hair-dos happening upstairs, he became intrigued and went all out in goth black nail and toe polish and red lipstick smeared all over his lips, chin, and sides of his face). We had princess tattoos for the girls and batman ones for the fellows – that was a hit that I did not expect (Mario still has his on his right arm after eight days).
Maria became a tad overwhelmed toward the end of the party while opening her presents. There were way too many gifts to open due to the amount of kids who came. Next year, I have resolved to find a way to limit the gifts – maybe have families donate to their favorite cause or Maria’s favorite cause? Who knows – I just don’t want to see 25 gifts in the living room for one little girl!
Nonetheless, Maria was her sweet self and opened all of the presents and gave hugs and kisses to all of her friends (and very much enjoyed all of the presents that she got since the majority centered around barbies or make-up or princesses). Of course, that was tempered after the party when I told her that she could not open a particular present until later. She glared at me and said “I didn’t like my party, mom, and I don’t like you!” Yeah, she is only 5. I am in for it.
But within 15 minutes she was back in my arms showing me her new musical jewelry box with the tiny fairy dancer – very similar to the one I used to have as a young girl – and I took full advantage of that moment with her knowing that it was too precious to take for granted.