Your chevron invitation with the bright 5 on it will lead you to our house. A massive cardboard 5 to match it is taped to the garage door and balloons are hanging from our Christmas light hooks, so you’re sure to know you’re in the right place.
Come on through the open front door and a bustle of activity and bright colors will be the first to greet you. Next, my little boy, whom we have thrown this soiree for, will step over and greet you with a rehearsed handshake or hug. “I’m glad you’re here,” he will say in a barely audible reception.Pop up tents, balloons, and foam pool noodles, aka light sabers, litter the floor. Our furniture has been pushed back against the walls or moved into the garage. Fabric pennant flags soar across the ceiling like the sails of a fantastically festive pirate ship.
We pin the head on the Lego man; we pass the hot potato; and then we head to the kitchen, where trays of hot macaroni and cheese are coming out of the oven to feed our 16 little guests and 9 big ones. After the paper plates are passed, juice boxes are drunk, and popcorn and chips are smashed into the floor under little sneakers, we head outside to burn energy from this predominantly male, completely wild crowd.After compulsory trips to the bathroom for every willing little body, small hands grab onto ropes as we make the two block trek together to a grassy park. Out comes the sit-and-bounce balls, jumping sacks, stomp rocket, hidden chocolate coins, and one massive parachute loaded with lots of tiny waffle balls.
The sun is shinning and the breeze is blowing a cool coastal air through our hair. Smiles are everywhere and the sweet laughter of little ones is bouncing in every direction. A few cries and pouts are intermittent, as to be expected, but even those quickly disappear back into giggles.
Before there is time to tire of these activities, our single-file march takes us back to the house for chocolate oreo birthday cake with blue frosting, chevrons, and gumballs that roll off paper plates and bounce across the floor.
Stick on mustaches, pirate tattoos, bags of candy, and Star Wars coloring books are passed out. Friends start to leave.
There is blue frosting on the walls, the tents are broken, the floor is sticky, and there’s something bright green on the toilet seat.
The party was a success. Pure and simple fun.