I was at my daughter’s field trip recently, joking with a mom about how I seem to spend all my time counting heads when I’m out with the class that way. (We were only in charge of four little girls, so the job should have been easy, but I’m learning that there’s always one in any group who wanders. A lot.) She laughed and commented that it was like those big birthday parties that you have somewhere “out;” where she could never relax because she kept needing to make sure they had everybody.
And I had to laugh, and admit that we’d never done that.
While we’ve had family parties every year, it wasn’t until the kids were in kindergarten that we started doing parties involving friends; and even then, they were small, involving five or six little ones. My children are invited, often, to parties where kids invite the entire class or all the girls/boys in a class; while I suppose that saves on hurt feelings, I have no idea how people do it. The cost. The headache. The hassle.
My daughter just celebrated her seventh birthday, “Rainbow Magic Fairy”-book style. (On a side note, my kids have a knack for picking birthday themes that you can’t find party supplies for.) We intended to invite six little girls, but once she got to four, she got hung up. A domino effect seemed to be occuring: “If I invite A, then I have to invite B and C; and if I invite C, then D and E have to come…” Finally she stopped and looked at me. “Can I just invite four people?” Absolutely!
Out of the four, three showed up, and they had a wonderful time playing fairy games and making fairy crafts and eating pink-frosted chocolate cupcakes. It was absolutely hilarious to see how much noise four little girls could make….coloring. They laughed and danced and “helped” unwrap gifts and when it was all over, my daughter told me how much fun she’d had.
“I’m glad you liked it!” I told her.
“I didn’t like it! I LOVED it!!” she shouted; and honestly, if she LOVED her small party, why on earth would I want to do anything bigger?
Realistically, a bigger party would have meant missing out on some of the crafts; buying supplies for four is much easier than buying for twenty. I was able to include a “fairy book” (from a local used-book store) in everyone’s party favor bag, instead of a plastic kazoo. It just turns into a completely different party with fewer kids.
My sweet son approached me recently with a request for his upcoming birthday: could he just go with a couple of friends to the local science museum? And then maybe out for a treat?
These parties just get simpler and simpler…..