If you’re anything like me, getting ready for a party is not without its foibles. Here’s the peek at some of the hitches along the way to Ninjago glory:
- Knowing that I can only really focus on one thing at a time, I decided early on not to really start planning/preparing in earnest until after VBS. Since VBS was the last week in June, this left me with two weeks to pull this together. Definitely doable, but an extra week probably would’ve been better.
- Kevin ended up having to leave town right after July 4th, and was gone until after the big day. There went my game-meister, and along with him the freedom to run errands or work on anything before bedtime. Okie dokie….
- Finding the green fruit-by-the-fruit for the candy sushi? Darn near impossible. Ditto for candy lime slices. Know how you get hung up on something you HAVE to have? Guess which somethings I chose this time around.
- The cupcakes were a Plan B. Well, not exactly: They were my Plan A, but I made the mistake of asking the Birthday Boy whether he’d prefer a layer cake to cupcakes, and he chose a fairly elaborate layer cake. Even though I’d talked him down to one slightly less ambitious, I still view it as a mistake to have asked at all. Hey, he was getting a party, wasn’t it? Next time, the question will be, “What flavor do you want?”
- Speaking of cakes, I made two — one for the day, and one for a family get-together in the evening — and neither one made it to the table. That is not to say that I wasn’t up until after eleven on Wednesday night baking. It is to say, though, that the strawberry [day] cake took forever to make, only to sort of fall apart when I took one of the layers out of the pan. Also, I was tired by the time I got started, so I was knocking eggs to the floor and generally making a huge mess along the way. And, speaking of eggs, I turned the sad-looking chocolate [evening] cakes out of the pans, only to discover eggshells baked right into the top layer. Nice. So long, volcano cake! (Also: so long cakes-from-scratch, because that’s what the first two were, and then I quickly and happily switched to good ol’ Duncan Hines for the cupcakes.)
- There was a ninja stars game that sounded fun, but it turned out to be a bridge too far. I absolutely could not bring myself to cut out dozens of ninja stars the night before the party…or any of the nights prior, for that matter, but it wasn’t until the last night that I finally admitted to myself that it really was not happening.
- I was jettisoning things right and left when it came to the snack. Originally, I was going to include authentic Japanese snack mix and cute little fruit cut outs to go with the sandwiches. Then I realized that most of the kids probably wouldn’t like, or even try, the snack mix, and that the watermelon flowers and stars would leak all over the sandwiches. Out and out and out. Ditto for the crazy special drink concoction requested by the guest of honor, which was replaced by juice boxes. And guess what? He didn’t even notice or care.
That’s kind of the point I wanted to make, here: There were a whole host of little tiny things which seemed like big deals in the moment, when I was in the planning stage, but actually weren’t. When I started to get all wound up about it (and haven’t you ever done that?), I took step back and remembered the end goal, which was a fun little party for a six-year-old. Sure, there were things that would’ve been better or made for a cooler party, but so what? Momma managing to keep from going wild-eyed-screaming crazy may have been the best gift of all.