My second grade daughter celebrated her 8th birthday on Wednesday, the 21st. She has been excited about moving to this new level for some time. She had her party at the weekend, with mainly school friends, ice skating. This event was her wish. Gone are the days of children being seen and not heard, and being part of decisions that affect their lives is very much part of modern parenting. The invitations had been sent in that modern time-honoured fashion, through eVite. The party favours had been bought, selected to suit boys and girls, separately. The snacks and organic juices had been bought. Pizza was ordered. Cup cakes were ordered. Party on. On the road from seven to eight years old.
Children go to parties for the activities? Maybe. They go to see their friends? Maybe. They go for pizza. Yes! They go for the cake? Yes! They go for the goody bags. Yes, yes! They go for the balloons? Very definitely. Do not get into a discussion with young party goers about balloons. You could get run over by the emotions. When a child says that a balloon is not special, look out; that one is the favourite. Tears will flow as freely as lemon-lime Kool-Aid if you give away the balloon that is not special. The only tears that flow more freely are those that come from a child who has to leave a party early, before the cake and the goody bags.
But, with aging, comes responsibility. We say that people have to be thanked for coming to the party and for the presents they gave. Oh no! No free lunch, kiddo. Yes, you may have to be creative about how you get this task done, and one of the older siblings was helpful in suggesting some text and writing out the template to be copied. That was a good activity to have in front of us for the week: let’s aim for three cards a day and they should be done by the weekend. Most children like a challenge, and three cards a day soon seemed too limited and also doing them after school would cut into play time. So, my young one cranked out the cards a bit faster, even doing some before school. So, come today, all were ready to be taken to class. Tick.
As the party was held before the birthday, something special needed to be done for the actual day. Cue, mother and brownies. I only saw them going out of the house, and the tray coming back nearly empty after school, just a layer of sticky goo. None left to share at home. Boo.
So, we have come through the birthday week with a good set of events. Dont get me wrong and think that all of this was happening without the occasional emotional outburst. But, when those came along they were soon put back in place after a suggestion that birthday week, become birthday month. That’s right. If you are special for a day, you can be special for a week, and special for a month, and special for a bit longer.