When I was a little girl, my friends would come over, hang out in my parents’ basement, eat pizza, play games and open presents. That was my birthday party. When we weren’t at my house, my parents rented out the roller rink or a ceramic painting studio. I have such great memories of those parties and the wonderful time we all had.
I don’t remember my mom creating a theme or slaving over home made birthday banners. Yet I remember the laughter and the excitement of my birthday party. I can look back at those pictures and see everyone’s smiles and know that I didn’t just make that up in my own head.
Yet here I am, now a mom, my own daughter’s birthday party just a few days away, writing lists of things that need to be made and bought. From the theme of the party to the corresponding food labels to tie everything together, every element had been pondered and executed according to my plan. My plan for a 4 year old’s birthday party. Yes, a 4 year old’s party.
While I realize and acknowledge that my daughter will have a great time no matter what, I still stress and plan every detail. But why? Will she even notice the 45 feet of hand cut objects that will hang as a garland around the outdoor gazebo? Nope. She can’t even read the activity signs I made. *Sigh* So what’s the deal? Why do we bother?
Blame it on my obsessive compulsive disorder and need to plan every detail. Blame it on Pinterest where every party looks like a page out of a magazine. I am the first to admit I place the stress upon myself because I have these delusions of what a perfect party is. I want the cute pictures of the decor and the feeling that I created something special for my daughter and her friends. But, as much as I would like to think otherwise, I know the truth.
My daughter will be happy she had a party. Whether it was in our house or at a special location. Whether I created a theme or just put out some games and pizza. She will be happy that her friends hung out with her for the day. She will be happy they all ate cake. She may not see all the details that I will. She won’t see that Mommy painted, drew, hot glue gunned all of the decorations adorning her party. She will forget that there were those table coverings I spent hours searching for the right size. But there is one detail I know I will see, one that I won’t forget, one that is more important than anything else. The smile of my little girl who’s growing up way too fast!