How having an "Old School Birthday Party" for my son has set the tone for my summer.
This week my son turned 9. Like any kid he starts planning his party months and months in advance. Who will be there, what will they do, where will go, and what theme will he choose. Now this is where I have a mom confession. I dropped the ball on his birthday. June seemed extra crazy this year. It is usually a busy month for us but this year seemed extra nuts. My Husband is a teacher so he is wrapping up all of his classes, he teaches diploma prep courses and is gone evenings as well as regular daytime hours, I had extra events throughout June to put on and attend, sports for the kids were wrapping up and it seems like every single day there was a special day of some sort for the kids' school or a field trip. I was barely holding it together. Add in some family stuff and I was ready to curl up in a ball and say "Fuck Off" to anyone that talked to me.
So a week before his actual birthday date Jack asked if we had planned anything yet because his friends were wondering what he was going to do. Cue deer in headlights look from me. Shit. Nope nothing planned. So a few quick calls and none of the activities he had talked about months ago were going to work.
So we sat down together and we talked about what was going to be really important to him to celebrate his birthday. His answer set the tone for the party. He said "Friends over to hang out and play and chocolate cupcakes made by you". That's it. That is what was important to him.
So on the last day of school we had all his friends over for a party. It was three hours of unstructured, easy, old school fun. Parents dropped their kids off and left. I sat on the deck and read my book and went on my phone. They played roof ball (a game my husband claims he made up and may become an Olympic Sport one day. You throw a ball on a roof and whoever catches it when it rolls back down gets a point.), looked at Pokemon Cards on a blanket under a tree, turned the sprinkler on and got soaked in their clothes because it was so hot, had sliced apples and oranges, juice boxes, and chips. Then we had chocolate cupcakes and sang happy birthday. He was so happy.
This is what our summer will be. No schedule. No stress about making it over the top adventures all day every day. Lots of time to be bored. Full of friends. Full of family. Full of doing what makes us happy.