Three weeks ago, near Little Mister's birthday, we partied with family, inviting aunts, uncles and grandparents to celebrate both kids' birthdays at my parents' house down in L-town. Now, close to Curly Miss's actual birthday we did a combined "friends party" at the local arcade here in town.
Initially I was nervous since the last time I tried to do a friend/kid party it was a fiasco. Out of the twenty kids I invited, only three showed up. This time I tried to strike preemptively, sending an email around to find out when people had free time in their schedules. This is a busy time of year.
We also chose the arcade at the local mall, my reasoning being that if nobody showed up at least our kids would have a good time. I sent out invitations and hoped for the best.
To my great delight, several families in our circle of friends replied positively that they were coming. Some of the kids' closest friends would join them and I was thrilled. I bought plates and napkins and a balloon, as well as four rolls of quarters, to the amusement of the girl at the bank who asked if I was planning a trip to the laundromat.
At last the big day came. Mom and Sis made two cakes, shaped like Lightning McQueen and Mater, to my kids' happy surprise. Curly picked out apple juice for the drink du jour and we got things set up.
Twelve happy kids played games, jumped in the ball pit, played air hockey, ate cake and exclaimed over the presents. The greatest gift to Curly was just the time with her friends. Her extrovert cup overfloweth.
Parents stood around and chatted; babies smiled. My brother-in-law shot zombies. I think my husband did too, although he held Baby Bear a lot of the time, so his zombie-shooting was a bit limited.
This afternoon, two happy, tired kids came home from the mall, loaded with new toys and stories of times with friends and games they had conquered. I'd have to say, this was the best birthday party yet.