You people know I'm crafty. Remember the rainbow cake? I know, impressive. It is never more clear that I am an eternal optimist than when I casually approach a craft or baking project. So when Toby expressed desires for a "Mario" party, I was like, "Piece of cake!" or something else like that that translates, "Denial!"
Birthdays are a big deal to me, it's important that my kids feel like they have a special day. It's been a tough couple of months and I am trying desperately not to be in the dark night of the soul, especially on a kid's birthday, so I did what any crafty, engaged parent would do, I went on a party supplier's website and made plans to buy some licensed character schlock the day before my precious child's birthday party. Mario party, check. Except the local one ended up not having any of actual party supplies, just an endcap with a few Mario stickers and notepads and stuff. So I bought some of that and a blue tablecloth, because I don't play Mario and it seemed like blue and red stuff matched with what I have seen out of the corner of my eye while I am neglecting my children. I bought some star balloons because that seemed like a thing and then the cashier girl suggested drawing eyes on them to be like, you know, those stars with eyes in the game or whatever and so we ended up with a blue tablecloth with Mario stickers and pretty cute star balloons. My sister and bro-in-law and their kids were in town for a visit, so that was already a fun party, built in.
Then a Very Exciting Thing happened: a birthday coupon came in the mail with Toby's name on it. Party: redirected. If there is a free Happy Meal happening somewhere, this kid is not going to pass it up. So his best friend and his sister and cousins piled in the car and we had a Very Exciting Happy Meal Experience, and then we came back and they got to play video games while I effortlessly sculpted these Mario mushroom cupcakes. The top ones are the prototype I got from the interweb, the bottom is my skillful interpretation. I know, it's what I do, thank you. As I was realizing that once I again, I was qualifying for a Pinterest fail blog, Toby walked by and excitedly said, "MOM! Those look perfect!" I tell you what, there are reasons to keep this kinda guy around.
I think, in the end, he was totally and completely happy with his party, and I am thrilled that we made him feel celebrated.
So, Toby is seven. I am so thankful for his humor, his flexibility, his alarming intelligence and his kindness. He gets better every year. I'm just gonna need time to slow down a little bit.