It was one of those mornings. It’s the time of year that all four of our family birthdays fall into three weeks. And we tend to do the friend birthday party thing bigger than we would otherwise, because we don’t have family in our current town—lots of amazing friends, but no family. Soooo, the charge begins. I begin to black out a little as I plan the parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc, etc, etc. I am sure one day I will think it’s super cool that everyone’s birthdays are close together. Yay, we all have the same horoscope or something, right? But no, mostly, I dread it because I hate doing things halfway, and I feel like between the beginning of November and the end of December—I do all things less than my best.
And to add to this injury—this year my busiest work season is the same time period as all this. So, you can imagine the fury with which I broke into tears Sunday morning, when-step back in time with me for a moment…
Friday, my littlest one came home from a reunion with friends the kids grew up with (I know, he’s only 5)—with a fever. And he’s been literally counting down the days to his birthday on Sunday. I could hardly bear the idea of cancelling his exciting day and down deep inside—I couldn’t bear the thought of re-planning his birthday party. So after a “warning” email to our guests, letting them know we might have to cancel the party if my baby still had a fever the next morning, I woke to find my child well enough for a birthday party… a little pale but no fever and with the fervor of a child who has never been ill. So I sent another email out—with the wrong party time. And I wouldn’t have had the wrong time except I am planning my other son’s party the next weekend at roughly the same time, plus or minus an hour. I get them confused, damnit!
And the morning of my formerly sick son’s birthday party–during a meeting at the local coffee shop– for a little charity thing I am excited to participate in—my phone begins to buzz with texts and calls from the party-goers. Something had gone wrong. I had sent everyone two different times and multiple emails. Don’t other moms love that sort of confusion on a Sunday morning?! I started to sweat a little, but I decided not to panic. I called the party location and AGAIN—verified the time—since they did not send any type of confirmation—and I was clearly having memory issues. They verified—12:45.
The calls continued to pour in as I finished the meeting and raced to the store to pick up a cake for the party in an hour. One friend of said party children, not wanting to bother me, called the party location the party was at too—and they told her 1:45 (I am going to call it Suckalooza). Cake, here’s the icing. I called Suckalooza and got 1:45 this time, which is not what they told me an hour earlier. WTF??? You following? It was the birthday party nightmare. So I just asked all my guests to come an hour earlier, and that was bad information? My brain started to melt. I sat in the car with my 7 year old who had come to the charity meeting with me, called his dad, also known as my husband, and cried for a moment. I told my husband, chokingly, “I tried so hard, and I just didn’t get it right.” I was beside myself. I had really botched things up, even though all my friends were amazing and just played along. Have I mentioned what great friends I have? I had a birthday party away from my home because I wouldn’t have the energy or time to plan and this was the expensive ending?!
But the luckiest part of the day was an hour later as I was packing to go to the party… my 7 year old brings me a little paper bowl with foil on top. It said, “Mom, (two drawn hearts) thanks for trying.” Yep, I cried again. It wasn’t even his birthday party! He did that just for me, to make me feel better. Wow. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I had to weep AGAIN that day. How the hell did I get so lucky to have a child who would do such a thing for me? I was gonna pack up my whining and strap on my happy boots. NO matter what happened, we were going to have a great day. What really mattered is that I had the two best kids in the world. My husband had kinda been more amazing than his share, and my 4 year old—he was going to race cars for this birthday. The sheer, simple “joy of a child” was infectious. Riding cars was the only dream to fulfill—instead of focusing on the silly turmoil of being a mom, juggling and dropping balls all at once.
Turns out things like this don’t really matter, but sometimes ya get caught up in a bunch of little details and botch things up and wish you had a personal assistant. And you realize the most important things about the day were already there, family, love, and trying really hard.
Cheers to amazing moments that kinda kill the bad shit in life. (I have such a way with words, don’t I?)