I honestly hate when my kids get invited to birthday parties. You have to actually remember to RSVP, buy an expensive gift (or risk looking like a cheapskate), interrupt your precious weekend, pretend like you don’t want any of the pizza, small talk with strangers, the list goes on and on…
So when I remembered my son had a birthday party to go to on Saturday, I pulled myself together one hour before “go time.” I thought some money in a Birthday card would be perfect, but all I had was a $20 and a $5. I didn’t think a 4-year old girl my son barely knew needed my precious $20, but I felt too bad giving just $5! A Barbie out of my stockpile paired with the $5 wouldn’t be so bad, though. Perfect! That saved a trip to the bank or the toy store that I didn’t have time for to begin with.
We pulled up to the party 10 minutes late. I was shocked to see that all the parents had dropped off their 4 year old’s at the pottery shop. It seemed at least a few would have stuck around. Though seeing the chaos from other parties and customers, I realized why less adults per group was better. I introduced myself to the birthday girl’s mother and was reassured that dropping Kaiden off would be okay. She was busy tending to a cake, or pizza or something like that and I realized I should just get out of her hair.
Oh my gosh. What a dream! Here I thought I was going to be tortured for 90 minutes and it actually turned into a date with myself and Old Navy! Luckily it was next door to the pottery shop and I didn’t waste any time driving. I had a wonderful afternoon buying clothes for the kids and just being BY MYSELF. I’d hear other mothers scold their children and I’d sorrily look at them and then smile and know, for once, that won’t be me today. Then my alarm goes off…back to reality because it’s time to pick Kaiden up from the party.
I walk into the store only to be greeted by the semi-frantic mother of the birthday girl. “Hi?” I say confused…”We think you dropped your son off at the wrong party.” “Huh?” “Yes, you see, this party is for Sophia and she turned 7. She is in Mrs. Armstrong’s class…” I could see she was trying to say something, ANYTHING that would make the light bulb go off in my head. And then it did…Holy crap, this party was for a kid in my OTHER SON’S class. I was so stunned that I didn’t even know what to say. I felt a wave of panic, confusion, embarrassment, and guilt come over me. Then I see my sweet Kaiden bobbing my way. He was covered in chocolate, holding a balloon and still licking his sticky fingers. “Mom they gave me cake!!” He was beyond excited that he got to be a part of an older kid’s birthday party. Sophia’s mom let him take part in everything even though she had no idea if I had just pulled a Benjamin Button. You see, she tried calling me several times but realized Kaiden didn’t really know what my number was after he gave, “12-62-100” or “37-1-0-42.” I felt so bad, but was so thankful he was in good hands. Thank God.
What lesson did I learn? Get to know the parents in my kid’s classes.