I celebrated my first state-side birthday the other day. And more importantly, I hosted my first state-side, no, it needs to be noted- Manhattan- kids birthday party on the weekend.
Everyone is still standing and talking to each other. And no kids were lost. In either celebration.
I was spoiled rotten.
I like to act as though I really don’t care about my birthday, but truthfully, it feels really nice to have a day where people shower you in well-wishes and happy thoughts. It just does.
I remain really, really uncomfortable with blatant and prolonged ‘centre -stage’ time, and somehow the network of people I’ve become integrated into in this new home of ours recognized this. There was a coffee awaiting my arrival at work, there was a really, really sweet singing of ‘happy birthday’ with a petroleum-iced ( my favourite kind) cake accompanying it, there was an insistence that I wrap the day up from home and enjoy the evening after volunteering at my daughter’s school (that’s a whole other delightful treat for the day), there were TWO beautiful bouquets of flowers awaiting my arrival at home, and there was Mexican food (and drinks) to wrap it all up in a nice little package.
And somewhere along the line in there my we went for mom and daughter mani-pedis.
As for Nora’s 6th birthday party…?
Well, according to Brett ( I was too busy sweating and saying ‘what a f$&*ing GONG show this is’ under by breath for the full 2 hours to notice, really), the kids had a blast.
We officially attempted integration into every day life here, by throwing this damn party.
And we made our little girl feel pretty special.
Still, neither kid gets the insanity of having the Freedom Tower as a backdrop for your party hosted at the goofy golf on the pier overlooking Lady Liberty. Maybe when she’s 21 and looking through old photos she’ll giggle at it.
But right now, she’s feeling full and confident and happy that her pals were able to come and play and get sunburned and full with cake and pizza ( NY pizza.)
I’ve gotta admit- I didn’t quite realize how much anxiety I was feeling as a result of this damn party. Maybe it’s a case of ‘too much time of my hand’ for that to honestly cause me stress ( I’m calling bullshit right now on claim because I don’t feel idle…!), but the new logistical challenges this presented (no car, no house to host it in, no dollar store to pillage, and no clue what these kids and their parents would expect from a party) coupled with my maternal instinct to ensure that my baby felt like the most special kid for a day… I was stressed.
The 100 degree weather might not have helped. And yet, the bike pizza delivery guy arrived on time. And the rose I smuggled in was enjoyed by the moms who stuck around. And even the broke actor I hired last minute as an actual ‘mommy helper’ sure helped. What the EFF has happened to me?
The 6 extra hands from my amazing family helped too. I would have definitely said many more swears without them. And would have definitely lost a kid. Maybe on purpose.
Next year I think I am taking Nora on a boat ride for her birthday instead. We’ll wear fancy dresses or something.
Or, I’ll do this whole party thing all over again. Because she’ll ask me what we’re doing for her birthday this year, Mommy, and I’ll say ‘having a party, of course, babe!’
Eli’s is in September- time to start planning how a four year old celebrates Manhattan-style. I wonder if the Freedom Tower has a party room…