For Max's first birthday, which was an Octopus' Garden theme, I hand sewed an aquarium's worth of plush toys as party favors. His second was a post-March for Babies picnic, where I made team tee shirts for all of our attendees. I was determined to go low-key for his third, “just some friends at the zoo,” which ended up a safari adventure shindig with a wagon decorated like a safari Jeep. Four and five were construction and Star Wars, and the Pinterest-effect was in full swing.
So here's the thing.
Next week is Max's birthday, and his party is on Sunday.
As soon as his Star Wars party ended last year, he chose an Angry Birds theme for his sixth birthday, and I started pinning right away. Games, food ideas, and cake decorations… I started, as I have every year, thinking about it immediately.
And then February rolled around, and Jamie and I started talking, and the next thing you know, we're planning a family vacation to San Diego! LegoLand, a baseball game, the Safari Park… this. will. be. awesome. (The trip will be a surprise for Max, he knows nothing about it, so if you see him before our trip, do NOT say anything)
So now we have to downsize the party without him getting suspicious about the incredible shrinking birthday.
Like bazillions of kids before him, we called to book a space at a local pizza joint. Pizza, cupcakes, a couple of dollars for the arcade games.
We'll throw in some Angry Birds napkins and a couple of balloons for good measure.
And yet, as Max and I wandered the aisles at Party City this evening, I felt guilty.
Is this party “enough”? Will he look back on his sixth birthday and feel bad that I dropped the ball so much?
I carried this basket full of stuff, adorned with Rovio's licensed birds and pigs, and couldn't quite shake the guilt.
But really? What does he care about?
So I asked him.
He wants his friends there.
He wants pizza with pepperoni and olives.
He wants balloons.
He wants both cake AND cupcakes, but understands I might only do one.
He wants to win another Spongebob from the claw machine.
Nowhere on this list did he include fondant Angry birds, mason jars adorned with those silly characters' faces, custom painted real-life Angry Birds games, or matching felt masks for all of the characters.
I joke that I throw those parties “because I'm a blogger and it's content,” which is absolutely true, but is that all? He doesn't think I love him any more or less based on a silly birthday party. Why do *I* insist on placing that value on it?