It’s nearly summer in New York. Among many things, it now means for us, as parents of school-aged kids, the month of 900 birthdays, as all of us with summer month babies get the brilliant idea to jam a party into the 28 available June days, before 3/4 of New York retreat to the water, away from the swelter and stink of the city….!
So this weekend we have 5 birthday parties. Next weekend 2. The weekend after 1. And the weekend after that, Nora’s own party and another 2.
The social experiment of birthday parties is fascinating, and terrifying, to me.
And navigating it in New York is something I had no idea about.
I’ve experienced a range of parties, from ‘Housewives of New York’ caliber parties that far out numbered the budget of my own wedding, to gatherings at the playground where the balloons from the Duane Reade alone marked the celebration.
I vowed last year to not repeat my mistake from my first New York birthday party, where I thought that ‘doing it myself’ was acceptable. Without the accessibility of dollar stores and cars and a backyard, hosting 17 kids on a pier playing goofy golf in the 90 degree heat with no staff from the golf course was dumb. I didn’t lose a kid, but at least 3 filled the water guns from the goodie bag (BIG taboo) with water from the Hudson and shot it in each other’s mouths, and at least 4 parents turned their noses at the visors I gave them ( it was a GOLF party and that’s effing smart and cute) as they were in a communal box and forsure one of the kids had lice…
So this year. Have I learned?
We’re having a puppy party. With live puppies. In our apartment. With 10 girls.
I will order absolutely all food. I will have wine for parents who linger because of the effing inevitable awkwardness that comes with drop off at parties ( do I stay? Is that weird? Am I a shitty parent if having 2 hours to do stuff alone is cool? Should I try to make new parent friends? Is my kid ok? Where is the wine? Can I have 2 glasses or is that weird too?)
I will splurge this year and get fancy TriBeCa cupcakes. And a lot of balloons.
And I will have crafts and practical goodie bags.
I hope Nora likes it.
I have learned a bit…
Such a sad irony to hope that you can be as at peace and comfortable and happy with the choices you make in life as you can… Before you get too old and it’s not available to you…
So we’ll see.
In the meantime, I am getting my nails done while Nora is at a party at a children’s art gallery. Maybe I’m a jerky parent.
I think she’s happy though- she blew me kisses and yelled ‘I love you, mommy’ across the gallery. And I had 1 glass of rose with the parents so that’s gotta count….!
1 down. 4 to go…