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Cora's Party

Yes, it’s time to brag.

Cora requested we go to the Arboretum for her birthday party; she wanted a few friends and a picnic and the chance to wander through the flowers and pioneer town and such. I planned an easy picnic lunch for everyone and an event-less time, counting on the sights and outdoor fun to do the work for me.

Unfortunately, it rained.

The night before I called an audible and moved the party to my house. Trying frantically to figure out something to do that was fun for the kids who had already played frequently in my house, removing the “new toy” excitement factor, I called a face painter to come in for an hour. We got out all our dress-up clothes, setting up a room full of tiaras and tutus, and hoped that would make for a stellar party. I raided my box-o-party stuff, getting out some old lights and streamers and party garlands, and we made it as festive as possible. Banking on the generous nature of my friends, I forced myself to not fly into a cleaning frenzy and went to bed with the house “good enough”.

s_birthday_009.jpgLet me tell you something – the kids had a fantastic time. The face painter came early in the party and was a huge hit; she did elaborate butterflies and fairy adornments, matching the girls’ costumes beautifully. All the girls put on a fashion parade followed by a spirited ballet performance, with the kids weaving in and out of each other good-naturedly. The adults were happy to lounge around comfortably inside rather than stand or squat in the grass, and I was able to throw the sandwich fixings out on the table and leave every family to fend for itself. We were able to munch companionably at a table rather than lounge on a picnic blanket, so I think everyone was happy.

s_birthday_010.jpgI’d worried that Cora would get lost in the party a bit; after all, most girls were closer to Maddie’s age, and Cora might feel left out or on the fringe. But we gave her a new ballet costume that morning as part of her birthday presents – a cute little sequined tutu I’d found at a garage sale the week before – and she was ecstatic over the beautiful new dress. She threw on armloads of jewelry, layering on more and more as the morning wore on until she was a bit Marie Antoinette-like in her jewel encrustedness. She was first for face painting, astonishingly patient while the woman did a beautiful frame around her face, and then kept sneaking to the mirror to catch glimpses of her beauty.

I’m sure that if I’d started out planning to have the party at my house, it’d have turned out to be twice the work and half the fun. But in moving it last-minute, we ended up with a spontaneously special party that I think girlie will remember for quite a while.

At least until I’m required to top it next year.


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