A few months ago when planning Delaney’s 9th birthday party, I pulled my usual Control Freak Mom thing. My brilliant idea was to combine Delaney’s party with our SA2020 Resolution to visit San Antonio parks this year. We’d pick a new-to-us park and do her birthday bash up big. There would be a bouncy house! With slides! Maybe even an obstacle course. I’d find highly talented people like the ladies at Handmade Mood to help me with a gorgeous theme and matching decor. We’d invite bunches of people and have fabulous food and we’d take photos and make videos and it would be THE BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER.
When I told Delaney my fabulous plans do you know what she said to me?
“Um, mom. I just want to have a few friends over to the house to do Rainbow Loom.”
Ohhhhh, yeah. You’d think that after nine years as a mom I would’ve learned by now: it isn’t always about me. And that’s why this parenting gig is a real kick in the pants, which is to say, a true delight and an opportunity for growth. We never stop learning, do we? And stepping away from myself and what I want is obviously a lesson I still need to learn. I’m lucky to have nine- and six-year old teachers helping me with this.
So I shifted gears from a huge (and probably financially- and time-consumingly overwhelming) park party to a down-home, intimate Rainbow Loom party for eight girls.
Because I’m not artsy, I scoured Etsy for an invitation designer who is. I found 5for12studio who, for just $25, customized this cute, digital Rainbow Loom invitation party pack that I printed onto card stock at home.
Delaney suggested we use colorful paper chains to decorate the dining room. She made a few and we connected them all together then draped them through our light fixture.
I picked up some pastel-colored plastic table cloths, a few light blue and peach trays and bins from Hobby Lobby, hot pink and white polka-dotted paper cups, and tons of colorful rubber bands to fill them with. The rubber bands are so festive and fun all on their own!
Because it was an afternoon party, we kept the food simple: a colorful display of freshly cut fruit and rainbow goldfish crackers.
For drinks, we stuck to water, knowing that our birthday dessert would already provide tons of sugary fun. We wrapped the bottles in the cute labels I printed that were part of our invitation package.
Instead of having a cake, I baked tons of from-scratch vanilla cupcakes using my favorite recipe (I love it because you can even use cold butter if you forget to let it soften). The girls decorated them using a frosting station set up in our breakfast nook. They each ate one or two and took the others home as part of their party favor.
Along with their personally decorated cupcakes, each party-goer also took home a brightly colored bag with a thank you note attached that was filled with Rainbow Loom snakes Delaney made for them.
The girls had a blast looming and chatting and decorating their cupcakes. Occasionally they took loom breaks to climb on our playground out back and compete, confidently, as only nine-year-old girls can, in dance-offs to Katy Perry and One Direction.
In the end, Delaney and I both received gifts: I learned to listen and to help her create the party that embraces who she is and what she loves. And she learned to speak up, kindly and respectfully, for what she wants. Birthdays don’t get much better than that!