I had assumed that the decisions we made during VB’s cancer treatment would be some of the hardest we’d have to make. Who knew that we’d come through that experience only to have our minds racked by the seemingly simple and mundane?
I speak here of VB’s fourth birthday party, coming up in a few weeks. This will be the first party where “friends” get the invite. When asked for a theme, VB was quick to request giraffes and elephants. How difficult could that be?
Turns out the answer is: “VERY”. First off is the size and scale of said shindig. Given that VB just transitioned between two classrooms in preschool, and has a third group of kids he cavorts with at our community’s special education program, we could be talking about 30-40 screaming bursts of energy. Add to that cousins, neighbors and the like, and the birthday get-together could quickly grow to the size (and hysteria level) of a Wiggles concert.
You would also think that it would be easy to come by safari/jungle-themed party supplies, games and the like. NOT SO — unless you’re willing to shell out boatloads of cash for some Steve Irwin knock-off to bring snakes and lizards into the room while animatronic monkeys swing from the rafters. Beyond that, you’ll be lucky to find so much as a set of paper plates with lions on them (which we were fortunate to stumble upon in the dollar bin at Target). Is my son the only one interested in his own private Rainforest Cafe? I can’t imagine….
As VM and I sat up late into the evening last night debating the pros and cons of inflatable palm trees, I wondered…Is it just us? How do parents make these difficult decisions, and engage in this strategic event planning, in a way that doesn’t cause insanity — all the while knowing that their child would be just as happy with a store-bought cake covered in cheap icing as he or she would a cake hand-made to look like a Zebra?
A you ponder the complexity of these issues, feel free to point some of your energy and thoughts our way on Friday — VB’s next MRI day. Let’s continue forward with the hope that selecting the perfect birthday hat is the most complicated thing we need to address this week.