It’s kind of like Christmas. Robbie has been crossing days off the calendar, counting down to his birthday, all month. Invitations have been sent out, a theme set and shopped for, the cake ordered. Last-minute panic about not being ready for the party and incredible relief when friends and sisters come through to help make everything possible. You do your best to soak in every possible memory. And then, well, it’s over.
We started early today, with Robbie waking up at 7:10, asking if he was four yet. Together, we waited for the clock to say 7:22, when he was born. There’s something about seeing that minute hit the clock, remembering exactly what it was like when you first laid eyes on the beautiful child beside you. And then you realize that you have less than seven hours to get ready for the pirate party to celebrate, wanting the first birthday that he will really remember to be perfect.
For the first time since Robbie was born – the first time in our adult lives, really – Justin and I had ample space to host a birthday party. It was work (and I completely understand why people don’t do birthday parties at home!), but it was so nice to not be sweeping up a driveway and hoping to make it nice. The lawn had to be mowed, the garden weeded. Shark blood and sea water Jell-o had to be made. Pools had to be blown up – thank goodness for friends nearby with an air compressor and a sister willing to blow up the rest. Water balloons had to be filled. Cake and ice cream and pizza had to be picked up. Miraculously, it all happened by 2:00, when everyone was set to arrive.
There were kids everywhere – in the pool (with an inflatable slide – maybe the best $34 I’ve ever spent), blowing bubbles, throwing water balloons, playing corn hole. There was laughing and shrieking – sounds of a perfect birthday party. Half the kids were in eye patches, everyone was soaked with grass covering their feet and legs. And there was Robbie, grinning from ear-to-ear, all of these people here to celebrate him.
After the presents were opened, the cake was eaten, and the friends had gone home, Robbie changed his clothes and crawled into my lap. “Mommy, I hate it when my friends leave. This was the most awesome birthday ever!” I’m not sure I could have asked for much more than that.