Addie turned three on Friday. Last year, we figured we could get away without having a party. We just strung some lights in the dining room, blew up some balloons, and invited Nancy over for cake and presents. Addie thought it was the best thing ever.
But she's a year older and wiser now, so we figured we probably better do something more birthday-esque. It's a busy time, though, and I'm not exactly Martha Stewart, so I just sent out an email to the parents of the kids in her class at school, and to some of our friends. It was a cheeky email--sort of, "hey, we're not doing anything super special, but come on over and hang out and eat cake and drink beer." I somehow thought that a casual event would ensue, with everyone in the backyard lounging on our new grass, hanging out and watching the kids scamper around.
Which is not what happened at all.
First of all, it snowed. So everyone who came to the party was going to be inside. Still not a big deal, we thought to ourselves. The house is pretty empty at the moment, and kids will have fun running around together. No worries.
But then, about a thousand people showed up, 500 of which were under the age of three. It was total MAYHEM, people. Two kids got stuck in one of the moving boxes, their heads poking out of a little hole Eric had cut out so that Addie could play house. Much screaming and panicking ensued, until the mom was located and Eric ripped the cardboard apart with his bare hands. One kid was grabbing huge fistfuls of other kids' hair. Still other kids were totally overwhelmed the moment they walked in the door, and began crying almost immediately at the noise and insanity of it all.
We also burned the pizza, so the house filled with smoke about half-way through. Then our realtor came over and wanted to give us the scoop on the inspection the buyer had done on the house on Friday. Juice was spilled, cake was smushed, kids had meltdowns.
But you know what? I still had fun, and I think Addie had fun, too. Nolie, thankfully, slept through almost the entire thing (how was that possible?). I was sweating and tired and yet, there was a moment where I just decided to give myself over to the chaos, and to enjoy the noise and hubbub, and to just be glad we had this many people who wanted to celebrate with us.
This was my favorite moment of the day: I started walking out of the kitchen with the ginormous cake we bought from Costco, and everyone started singing Happy Birthday. Addie, too, until she had the brilliant moment of realization that all these people were singing for her, that it was her birthday. And she broke out into the best grin I've ever seen.
What a kid, that kid. Three years old.