May is a big birthday month in our household. Daniel and Kendall have birthdays separated by just five days. This year May was packed full of activities for us so I made the wise decision to throw a joint birthday party for the kids. I decided we’d keep the party very small with just a few families from Daniel’s preschool. Like most second children, Kendall’s closest friends are the younger siblings of Daniel’s buddies. We’d have it at a local park, neutral territory so there wouldn’t be any issues with sharing toys and more importantly so I wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning my house.
When my friend Val asked me what the theme for the party was, I felt a little panic. That night I scanned Pinterest for party ideas. Pinterest is like mom-crack. Their inspiration boards always lure me in with flashy photos of cute clothes I wish I was wearing, delicious food I want to be
cooking eating, projects and crafts that require only 87 steps to complete, and promises of a washboard stomach that will magically appear from the combination of eating paleo and exercising.
The section for kids’ birthdays is especially overwhelming. It is full of adorable party themes with coordinating invitations, décor, snacks, games, and treat bags. Mostly homemade, of course. Gah! The pressure! What theme would combine Daniel’s wish for a “Mighty Machines” party and Kendall’s obsession with “Go Diego?” What if the guests realize I made brownies from a Trader Joe’s box mix? Crap, now I have to download cute font and graphics to make labels for the bottles of water!
And then I realized that although a lot of moms are good at throwing those birthday parties for their kids, it’s just not me. We ended up getting pizzas and snacks with juice boxes for the kids and beer for the parents. There were no organized games or cute themed décor. It was just the kids being kids at the park. And you know what? People ate, played, and had fun just hanging out. It may not have been a party worthy of Pinterest but I’m going to call it a success.