Ninth Try

What makes a perfect birthday party perfect? It’s not number of guests, for if that’s the case, today’s party would be very far from perfect. It’s not the price of the gifts, for no matter how much one spends on a present, more is always an option. It’s not the cake, though in the case of E and his destruction cake a couple of years back, it certainly made a positive impact.

Having a part in the planning and preparation of your party would be an element of a perfect party, a perfect sign that double digits and more approach. The Girl chose a craft-centered party, spending several weeks researching and thinking about which activities she wanted at her party. In the end, she chose holiday-themed crafts: gingerbread decoration and Christmas tree baubles.

Morning was dedicated to baking gingerbread, then, in various shapes and sizes. There was also significant cleaning as one of the guests is allergic to cats — never before has the Girl’s room and the living room been so thoroughly cleaned. Early afternoon was decorating. And finally, after putting the balloons in place and dressing both Caroline and herself in matching outfits, the Girl was ready for the guests.

Once the girls arrived, the Boy, though, felt suddenly left out. He went into the living room, flopped down on the couch, and said, “Daddy, I’m boring. I’m not doing anything.” The girls headed down to the trampoline and he just watched from the balcony. “Don’t worry — you’ll get to do all the crafts with the girls. You’ll decorate some gingerbread and make a bauble and do whatever else you want to.”

After crafts, pizza and a movie, and a bit of fingernail painting. And finally, we cleaned up the mess, and I asked the Girl, “So, was it a perfect party?”

“Pretty much.”

And that’s the best present she can give to K and me.

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