We were late getting Lindsey's birthday party invitations out, between a trip to Arkansas and then Boston. Most people received the invitation with only one week's notice. Yet only one child wasn't able to make it. How is that possible? So here we were again, two years after we said "We'll never have THAT many kids again," at a party with 13 children.
|Eight of the 13 guests.|
Lindsey's birthday party was at Grand Slam this year, a batting cage/mini-golf/laser tag/bumper car/game arcade kind of place. It was an interesting place to have a party, because once everyone arrived the kids all split up into different areas and went to their favorite activities. It was fun to see how the kids all interacted with each other, with one group of four going in one direction, then meeting up with a different group and splitting into different groups of kids depending on what everyone wanted to do.
Marissa was allowed to bring a friend so she had someone her age to do things with. They rode on the bumper cars, got out and then got right back in line for the bumper cars again. I think they rode in those cars about 7 times. At one point enough other kids from the party joined them so that all nine bumper cars were from our party and they all knew each other. It was hilarious to watch as they would maneuver their cars into each other, or drive in reverse, waiting to run into someone without knowing who it was, but knowing that at least they would KNOW them.
The highlight for Lindsey had to be the laser tag; she and various groups of friends played it at least 4 times, and it takes at least 15 minutes to play one game of laser tag each time.
In the meantime, Wayne and I would walk the area, checking for stray kids who didn't have anyone to do something with, or who needed help with arcade games, etc. We ate a late lunch (or early dinner, depending on your point of view) of pizza and cake.
I don't know why, but it was completely exhausting. Three hours in this noisy, energetic place with hundreds of kids and adults milling around, trying to keep track of 13 little girls (and then making sure all 13 were picked up at the end of the party) was completely and utterly exhausting. I don't know what well that energy comes from, because it's not physical energy; it's parenting energy, or something. It gets empty very quickly when there are 13 kids pulling from it all the time.
And so we went home, and Lindsey opened her gifts with just the four of us there to appreciate them, with Wayne taking notes for the thank you notes that would be written later. We had a dinner of popcorn and will shortly go to bed, all of us.
|Lindsey showcases a gift while Dax licks his lips from eating leftover popcorn.|
Earlier in the week, when I went to the bakery to order her cake, they asked me what I wanted written on it. I said, "Happy...wait, 9? 9th birthday? Oh my God, I can't believe she's nine." Where are these years going to?
I'm logging off now, gotta go hug my kids again, before they don't want my hugs anymore.