People seem to think maaaaybe I went a little overboard with the party thing. And, okay, maaaybe I did.
Here are my excuses/rationales:
I am a theater professional. I create events and experiences. This is an event/experience.
My parents used to do really great birthday parties, and I see this as a way of loving my kids the way I was loved. Doing a party like this makes me think of the times when my childhood family was happiest.
It was not expensive or time-consuming at all.
I don’t do a bunch for Christmas, perhaps because I don’t see Christmas as a chance for new creativity. Same colors, same snow men, yada yada. But a birthday party with an interesting theme can generate a lot of ideas.
I had fun. I only spoil my children in ways that I find entertaining for myself.
As a subpoint to #4, let’s be clear, if Silas had asked for a tractor party, I would have just stuck a toy John Deere on a cake and called it good. When I was listing different things he might want to do for his party (dinosaurs, Sesame Street, Wild Things, etc), he locked on to the idea of China. I thought that was pretty cool, honestly–to be only three and that excited about another culture.
My mom–herself a party nut, far more than I’ll ever be–went a little wild in Chinatown the week before the party. My mother-in-law found lanterns at a craft store. I also had ordered some things online. The decorations ended up being pretty great.
My former coworker from China sent Silas a present from China, and he was unspeakably thrilled. 🙂
Activities, unplanned but inevitable:
Hanging out with babies.
Playing in the river.
Babies, making their own fun.
Big kids, finding their own ways to play.
At the end, we had a little “Petra is almost one!” moment–Granny won’t be here for her birthday, so she gave her her present and card early. Petra really looked as if she were reading the card…