Overall I have to say that the party was a success and I am glad to have one milestone completed. Despite all the stress that I placed upon myself for this celebration, it turned out to be a lot of fun. Hopefully, when my son is old enough to realize it himself he will be able to appreciate the day as much as his parents did, but for now I can relish in the realization that his first birthday was a memorable day, for me that is. However, I never really allowed myself to relax and enjoy this monumental time from when the planning began all the way up to the completion of the party. The feeling was similar to my wedding day, it was a joyous, stressful and fun-filled time that was over way too quickly.
My husband and I doubted our abilities to put together a successful soiree on many occasions. Nevertheless, we continued to reassure each other that we were doing all of this for our son. During the planning process, once the number of attending guests loomed to 26 adults and 15 kids we did start to express some fear as to how we were going to pull this off; whether or not we had enough space in our house; if our yard was big enough for the inflatable bouncing gym and finally would the stress be so overwhelming that I would end up in labor at the hospital? However, being the adventurous couple that we are, we pressed on with the preparation for the event and put our doubts aside.
On the day of the event we both rose out of bed at 600 am in efforts to prepare for the party. We blew up balloons, tied up banners, cleaned the house, prepared party bags for the children and wrapped our gift. It almost felt as if we were preparing for Christmas morning. Once my son woke up for the morning I volunteered to take him along to pick up the food for the party (I knew that this would be the only way to ensure that my husband would complete his tasks-women can I get an amen). The food, my son and I arrived back home with about 45 minutes to spare before the festivities began and luckily I had family there to assist with the last minute preparations. Everything seemed to be going as planned. However, no one discussed my plans with my son prior to this day. Therefore, he decided not to follow the script as I had planned. I wanted him to take a short nap prior to the start of the party so that he would be fresh for all the fun and activities and especially for my pictures. Well, it didn’t happen that way at all. He refused to take a nap and it was very clear that he was tired. This is the point where I should have realized that I wasn’t in charge and that for years to come I will never be able to dictate the outcome of an event involving my children. Despite all these things, I was still optimistic about pulling off the perfect party.
Around noon the parents and children arrived and they ate and played and jumped and played watched cartoons and played and jumped some more. It all seemed to be a great success. My son was just overcome with excitement at the number of children at his home and he couldn’t get enough of the inflatable gym. In fact his father and uncle gave up with the jumping prior to him wanting to stop. However, after about an hour and a half I noticed the fatigue setting in and I knew my time was running short. My only dilemma was when to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake. This had to be done with my son awake in order for the party to be a success. Unfortunately, my parents still hadn’t arrived and if I had chosen to perform this ritual prior to their arrival I would never hear the end of it from my mother. I would be the cause of every negative thing that happened in the next year because of my choice to continue the party without her and she would definitely make a point to remind me of it on any occasion. Needless to say we waited for their arrival and I could see my son fading fast. After being reminded by a two year old to pass out the “expensive” birthday hats, we lit the candle and sang the song. Once the song was complete we tried to allow my son to eat his cupcake (this is also another great photo opportunity). However, after looking around at all the people around him, he burst into tears. I tried to appease him by offering him the cupcake, as the 1st party rules state he was supposed to become so excited that he would smash cake everywhere while we took pictures. But that isn’t what happened. He continued to cry so my husband held him and fed him his cupcake during which he promptly fell asleep.
Overall the party was a huge success. My son slept for the last hour of the party and I have a box of gifts that I forgot to hand out to half of the children who attended but all in all I had a great time and the children had a great time. My son continues to be excited about all of his gifts and he does play with them for short moments in time. Unfortunately, he hasn’t lost his fascination with playing with the garbage can, pulling out my pots, playing with scotch tape and last but definitely not least he still loves to push our furniture around the house.