I feel bad every time one of my children’s birthday nears. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for another year of good health and thankful for each of the 365 days I hold them. But the usual and almost obligatory birthday parties (depending on which culture you came from!) or some sort of celebration – that always gets me.
I suck at party planning.
I admire people who can pull off party planning like a pro. People who make Pinterest boards and mood and vision boards of the perfect party, moms who make a real effort to make birthdays colorful and themed and all things bright and wonderful. My friends Abi of Cuddles and Crumbs who makes very creative cakes and Sheila of AB and me who gets excited about party planning and nails it. Lucky kids they have!
Maybe I am being lazy. I don’t like big parties, especially if I have to host it. This is not about the cost at all because we all know with some creativity and resourcefulness, one can create a party within a specific budget.
I am awkward at big parties.
I always feel I do not do well entertaining each and every guest and I think I have to – because they have come out all the way to attend my party. I do not even eat well at parties I host (thankfully it’s not many). I do not remember if I ate anything on my wedding reception. I can’t even remember if we had a vanilla or chocolate cake.
Anyway, it was my son’s third birthday yesterday. If I had to follow my “traditional” thing, that would mean no party, no calling of guests, just family members and probably just have a small cake with 3 little candles to blow and maybe a few balloons just to get the birthday mood in. And many pictures.
But then I feel guilty and succumb to the “norm”.
I searched and ordered a Nemo cake (Benjamin is into Nemo or The Little Mermaid but I can’t, for the life of me, get him a cake with a half naked, half fish-half human girl on top), I got balloons, took half day off from work to do last minute shopping and went home to cook.
I totally spent all the time in the kitchen that I forgot to take a shower before guests came. Plus I could not find my foundation powder so I had to borrow from a guest (she offered!). How epic fail is that? Oh and my hair – it was overdue for a hair dye session to cover the grey like, 3 weeks ago!
But really, does my young child know it’s even his birthday?
Benjamin’s nanny was so sweet to make this wall decor with Pristine’s help.
The food to prepare for a home party – this is where I suck more.
When I was growing up, we only get to have ice creams and soda and spaghetti or cakes and probably a big roast meat during our birthdays and Christmas. I come from a big family (we are six siblings) so plus our parents’ birthdays and Christmas and New Year, we get to enjoy “special occasion only” food 10 times a year. That’s only 10 times in 365 days.
So every ice cream in cone and spaghetti and cakes are special.
But fast forward to now, we can have ice cream every day if we want it. We cook a pasta dish for the kids at least once a week. Cakes? Whenever we like it at restaurants when we dine out.
How life has changed.
This is where my party planning attempt goes sour. What food will I cook and serve the guests that’s “party-worthy”? Yada, yada, yada I know you’ll tell me it’s just not about the food but the company! the spirit! the togetherness! yada, yada, yada…but really – it IS about the food too. Personally, I see or feel nothing special about having parties now because all the “party worthy” food has become so normal that it has lost its special meaning.
Does that sound strange? Am I going out of my mind?
We had close family and a few friends last night who enjoyed our “normal” food – maybe even if it’s something they can have everyday. I also enjoyed the evening but man, the things that needed to be done prior – it makes me still think that a party isn’t always necessary (for me – because if that’s your thing, that is totally cool).
But what do I know, maybe I am really just being lazy and think sweeping confetti from the floor at 11 pm is no fun at all.