In the aftermath of a 5 year old's birthday party....

Although Tuesday, March 22nd was Elasia's actual birthday, we had invited all of her "little kid friends" to a Dinosaur/Heart themed  Birthday Extravaganza. (Yes dinos and hearts - so. very. Elasia). (side note: Elasia has lots of "grown-up friends" that she adores and wanted to party with too, even though they don't have children of their own. So we had them over for dinner on Tuesday night.)

The kid party was a huge success. We had some private space at a chain restaurant and the kids got to: make their own pizzas (chefs' hats and everything!), eat an inordinate amount of sugar in various forms and narrowly avoid death by piñata stick. (more
pics to come! That is, once I can whittle down the album to a sane number to share online and figure out how to get it all on a slide show in a post rather than in the sidebar)

We surfed our way through the chaos fun times of Saturday, pushed through a full-scheduled Sunday and now I find myself in ....The Post Child's Birthday Party Zone ::cue creepy music::.

There are newly opened toys scattered throughout our apartment, with all their wrappings and plastic and cardboard and twisty-ties littering our floor like confetti. There are slightly deflating heart-shaped helium balloons - floating like suspended animation art- in our bedroom. There are leftover dinosaur favor bags hidden through our place like Easter eggs. And I'm not actually sure where that last cupcake went....hmmm. Maybe we'll find it petrified under our couch next week sometime.

And there is a happy 5 year old, soundly asleep in her bed and a tired but satisfied mommy, deliriously blogging on the couch in the living room.

I used to judge, misunderstand, or just plain ignore moms who throw "themed" parties. I used to see it as an unhealthy extravagance in the light of world poverty...yadda yadda yadda. I was just ridiculously ignorant like that. But now ... I understand. I know what it's like to love a child so deeply you would give your right arm to make every birthday wish come true. I know what it's like to look at the limited resources you have available and figure out a way to make something spectacular within your means - to stay up late making the decorations by hand (because it's cheaper AND because even in New York City it's tough to come by heart-shaped dinosaur decorations).

I still value minimalism in my kids expectations. I still stress that they should be grateful for anything they get in the birthday category. (Seriously - anything.)  So far it's going well. But I also know from first-hand experience what it feels like to overhear your daughter telling her friend, "I really like hearts AND I like dinosaurs. Did you know that a brachiosaurus was a herbivore and that the T-Rex was...." and then feeling like my goal for the next month was to somehow fill her world with hearts of every color and dinosaurs. I look at her smile and I feel it. I'd move mountains for that little girl. Just 'cause.

But yeah, I'm wiped.  And I probably over-committed/over-extended/over-spent myself this weekend.  But to the nagging little judging voice in my head - I say - she's only 5 once. And I'm smiling as I put my feet up and watching Iron Chef tonight.

It was totally worth it.


Leah said...

I'm so with you.. just finishing 2 with Luke. Whew.. I'm beat but yeah, absolutely worth it every time he recognized a "ladder" or "fire truck" in all the party decorations & fun.

Evita Gahagan said...

:-) Aw firetrucks - what a great idea. We're spending all of today (Monday) in our pjs - just taking it easy - to recuperate. But yeah - I loved it. :-)