If you’ve been around these parts long, you know I like to throw parties. Even when I try not to go all out for a kid party, I usually do. It’s just fun for me. And I love doing it for my girls. Homemade parties are my favorite. For eight it was a backyard movie night. For seven it was an American Girl Doll party. Before that there were tea parties, dress up parties, a Madeline theme party, and a two-year-old front porch party with crafts.
But now she is nine. And we are moving on to a new era. Where everything needs to be cool, fashionable, with fun music, and lots of friends. She has learned it’s easier to mix her different groups of friends in a large setting versus and intimate one, where she fears certain groups won’t mesh with others. Girls can be SO complicated when it comes to this. So the past two years we’ve gone big, with over 20 girls at a party.
This year it was a Girls Only Skate Night Party. And it was a blast! It was not a homemade party with cute mama made table clothes and hand sewn gift bags. But it was just want my girl wanted.
My youngest girls’ birthday is only seven days apart. Therefore, this year I hosted two birthday parties in three days and decided to cut myself some natural mom slack. It worked out nicely, because my oldest thought it was a special treat to actually shop for party decor.
For the first time we had disposable table clothes, grocery store cupcakes (specially ordered with no food coloring) and party favors ordered from Oriental Trading Company. I was in total survival mode to make it through the busy week with a calm that left time to enjoy the important moments. It was a week I had to make compromises to make it all fit – and where the important things to my daughter took precedence.
At age nine, that meant:
*Patiently standing by while she insisted on making her own three leveled birthday cake, on the day of her birthday. And decorated it – using WAY too much food coloring and an unforeseen amount of sprinkles and sugar. And then me not telling her what I really thought about it.
*Carefully creating her board of photos to share with her class during her Walk around the Sun, with a coinciding script typed out to avoid anything embarrassing. No more stories about her being born in a bathtub.
*Getting a new pair of roller skates with bright pink wheels, that she opened on her real birthday. Thanks grandma and grand dad.
*Taking time to create the perfect playlist for the party, which we downloaded new music for and put on a Ipod for the DJ to play at the skate rink. She banned me from playing Celebrate, Madonna or Michael Jackson. Booooo.
*Shopping for the right cake plates and dance party looking decor, with balloons (something we rarely have at parities). Goodbye enviorment.
*Planning the right outfit to glow under the disco lights. Thankfully we had one.
*Having plenty of glow in the dark paraphernalia to pass out to friends at the party. Which was really fun for me to skate around handing out glow necklaces.
*Picking up two best friends from school and having them along for the day of the party. And me thankful for her sweet school friends she has known since age 2.
Yes this nine business is a new era. But I think I’m going to like it!
She still appreciates the homemade touches of mom. But for her party, she wanted it her style. And I respected that.
The parents had fun skating too. Even though it was to One Direction instead of Celebrate. I had a friend take the photos. And I was having so much fun I didn’t take any photos myself, of the decor, the tables, the fun set up of glow in the dark necklaces, bracelets, glow glasses or the cup cakes – nothing. I was totally having fun in the moment, watching my sweet nine-year old, and reliving my own skate night days with my mom friends.
When the DJ called everyone over to the tables for cupcakes I had to race the girls over there and frantically serve them while I was on my skates. I was like a roller skating waitress and the kids got a kick out it. The girls barely wanted to stop skating to eat a cup cake. I couldn’t find the candle, and by the time I realized it, the girls had gobbled down the cup cakes and we missed the chance to sing Happy Birthday. We did a quick impromptu version and everyone was happily back to skating. It was a fast two hours, that moved at the speed of nine-year-olds having a great time. Actually, it was a whirlwind. It was not one of my slow-style homemade party where all the guests are greeted, thanked for coming and properly shown their way to the door in the end. But it was her party – and she thought it was perfect.
To make sure all these novice skaters had a good time, it was key that we rented out the whole skate rink for the party. It was, in comparison to some birthday facilities, a very good deal. We brought in all our own food. And it included up to 100 skaters, so siblings and parents were all welcome to join in. If you are looking for a large place to hold a lot of kids, I highly recommend a roller skating party. I’d also advise renting the entire rink out because it means you control the music. And well let’s face it – the roller skating crowd today is not the same as it was when were kids having Girl Scout lock-ins at our rink in the heart of suburbia. It’s best to have the place to yourself.
All the girls had fun, and one friend told her it was her best party she had ever had. I had a mom tell me it was one of the most fun kid parties she had been to in a long time. And even the girls who had never been on skates quickly got the hang of it.