|Aydin with his birthday sticker from school|
I started planning Aydin's 7th birthday pretty much after Christmas. I picked Saturday, February 25th for the date and decided on Aspire Gymnastics (where I work) for the venue. Around the beginning of February, I was asked to cover the front desk for birthday parties on the day of Aydin's party. Since Aydin's party wouldn't need a front desk person, I agreed to work the earlier parties. I even thought that would make my party easier because I would get to bring Aydin's things with me at the beginning of the day and set up.
The Monday before the party, Kieran's Girl Scout troop leader emailed the group and asked if anyone could cover an early Saturday morning shift of selling cookies at the grocery store. Since Kieran's pre order sales were low, I volunteered her to do the 8:00-10:30 shift. I didn't think it would be a big deal to drop her off for a couple of hours, run party errands, then be at work by 11:30.
The Wednesday morning before the party, I got an email from Kieran's soccer coach stating the first practice of the spring season would be Saturday from 12:00-1:30. Hmmm. My day got a little more complicated. I could keep my original plan, then just have Ashar take Kieran to soccer practice. Okay, still doable.
Later that afternoon, I got an email from the dance director at Infiniti that Kieran was registered to compete her solo...on Saturday night, of course! And of course my Superhero Mom cape was still at the cleaners. Kieran's group lyrical choreographer, Yasmin, agreed to pick Kieran up from Aydin's party and take her down for me.
Okay, so my party day got a bit more complicated. But you know what? We got through it, and the party was a blast.
We invited kids from Aydin's class and a couple of other friends. Aydin has so many toys that he doesn't even have space in his bedroom for more, so we asked him what he thought about donations to the NWA Children's Shelter instead. He thought it was a great idea! So we sent out invitations with a special request.
It was a small party so I didn't expect that many donations. I only brought a 14x14 basket to collect items. Aydin's friends were way generous, though, and it was overflowing! The guests signed their name to a poster board and later, I'll attach a picture of the kids and send it all over to the shelter.
The kids played in the gym for an hour, then enjoyed nachos, hot dogs, and birthday cake.
Today is Aydin's birthday and he decided on the Olive Garden for dinner. It couldn't be that simple, though; Alisa scheduled a bike ride with her track teammates, Kieran went on a Girl Scout field trip to Crystal Bridges museum, and Aydin attended a birthday party for his friend, Collin, at the skating rink.
When everyone was finally home, we headed over to the Olive Garden. We let him open his presents from Aunt Lena & Uncle Trey and Grandma & Grandad at the restaurant. The first gift he opened contained Nintendo 3DS games. He thought they were Wii games and he was pretty excited. Upon closer inspection, he realized they weren't for the Wii. I said, "Oh, no! Lena and Trey bought the wrong kind! We'll have to take them back to the store." (This is why I'm going to hell, if such a place exists.) His smile drooped and you could see disappointment on his face, even though he was trying hard to act grateful. (And this is why I'm not going to hell; I have taught my kids a manner or two.) He opened his next present from Grandma and Grandad--yep! You guessed it! A flaming red Nintendo 3DS! So we won't have to return those games after all! Aydin was beyond excited.
Like my title says--what a weekend! As my family has grown, days like these are more often than not. Yes, it drives me crazy, and yes, I love it. I can't imagine living life another way. This weekend, I was rudely reminded that I can't cater to all of my kids' every single need all the time like a mom of a smaller family might be able to, but I reflected on how grown and independent my children are and what fantastic adults they'll make one day because they have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves (and yes, mistakes, too.) Even though I expect a lot out of them, they have all the opportunity to be little kids and have a fun life.