"I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward." (Ecclesiastes 5:18, NET)

January 26, 2013

My kind of party

"Laid-back" and "kid's birthday party" don't normally appear in the same sentence, but that's what it was. Evyn and Ezra had another joint celebration this year as she turned 6 and he turned 5. And their parents are still keeping it low-key. Good for them, because once you start hiring clowns and elephants, there's no going back.

For me anyway, the party had all the ingredients that make a fabulous time:
  • An exclusive guest list: My kids, grandkids, and myself
  • Delicious food: Homemade pizza and birthday cake
  • Fun entertainment: Jumping on the trampoline under a beautiful sky

A few guests were missing—my 14-year-old grandson, my son-in-law, and my husband. But other than that, we had the core group. Four adults and four children turned out to be the perfect ratio for spreading out the concierge services that children require.

When I entered Zach and Kelly's house, I was greeted not only with happy children wearing birthday hats, but also with the heady smell of bacon cooking in the oven. Oh my. Zach made the most delectable pizzas using split french rolls for the perfect crust and bacon for the perfect topping. Good-bye, pepperoni. We are officially over. And to borrow from a Taylor Swift song, "We are never, ever, ever, ever, ever getting back together."

Kelly spent hours the day before making a three-layer cake of different flavors, with vanilla icing between the layers and chocolate icing covering the whole thing. Add a side of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla, and we were so enthralled with what we were shoveling in our mouths that we barely said a word. Then 3-year-old Sara blurted out, "This cake is delicious!" After she had eaten most of it and was chasing down crumbs, she told the cake, "Come on, let's get this going." You've got to love a girl who talks to her food.

Evyn and Ezra had some unusual requests for gifts, and it was quite satisfying to be able to get them raincoats and rainboots instead of toys. When Angy had asked what they wanted, Ezra said a ruby and a crystal, and Evyn said flowers. She specified three daisies and three roses that were fake, one daisy and one rose that were real, plus real roses for her mom. Angy did a great job of complying with their wishes, within reason of course. Kelly didn't get roses, and Ezra's jewels were the "chaos emeralds" of different colors in the Sonic Hedgehog action figure set. He carried around his "rubies" all day.

With absolutely glorious weather, we spent the afternoon outside. The kids continually rotated between jumping on the trampoline and running around the yard. We have to get them on and off the trampoline, so Zach and I were continually lifting kids. (Kelly and Angy mostly sat on the patio and chatted, getting a little well-deserved mom rest.) I also got on and off the trampoline a lot myself because the kids kept wanting me to jump with them. A bonus of all this activity was absolution from guilt over my calorie consumption.

Unfortunately, my jumping caused excessive and unstable movement for the little ones. When Evyn took a fall and jammed her face, she cried and laid all the blame on me. I sat down and held her tight, offering words of sympathy and tender caresses. Her head was on my shoulder with her face turned away. Kelly came over to assess the situation and discreetly let me know about the hint of a smile on Evyn's face. So that turned out to be an enjoyable moment—Evyn pretending to be hurt more than she was so I would comfort her longer. With pleasure, my girl.

After that, the kids wanted to sit along the edge of the trampoline and just watch me jump. I have no idea why, but I'm glad they want me to join in their play. To their amusement, I jumped as high and as long as I could while they demanded, "Higher, Nana, higher!"

Zach and his neck harness
Zach came out of the house wearing only his shorts (low-key party, remember). It was entertaining for me to watch my son do sets of 280-lb farmer carries around the yard (like in strongman competitions) and 35-lb neck raises. I don't think I'll be adding any of those to my 10-lb kettlebell workouts. But I've made what I consider to be good progress over the last year and a half, so I flexed my quads and invited Zach to give them a squeeze. "Wow," he said, "you really have been working out."

After getting confirmation that he wasn't being facetious, it became another favorite moment of the day. I'm sure Zach's remark stemmed more from being surprised than impressed, but even so, it was like having a blue ribbon pinned to my chest. I've been flexing my quads all week.

It really was a near-perfect day. Out of all the favorite moments, I'll conclude with just one more. When I was about to pull out of the driveway, Ezra ran to my door to give me one last hug and say, "I'll miss you, Nana."

Oh yeah, it was definitely my kind of party.

Sara, Evyn, Ezra, and Christian

No comments:

Post a Comment