So. Flipper's birthday party was yesterday afternoon. Except I can't really call her Flipper anymore; it conjures too many negative images of some poor Thalidomide baby. And she's not a baby anymore. But I digress. The party, it was a total success. And the party, it will never happen again. In my house, that is.My tolerance level for noise is sadly and shockingly low. REALLY low. As in, my best friend calls my house "The Tomb." Bottom line: I hate noise. And, yes, as long as I am the grown-up, it will be all about me. But back to the party!!!! There were 8 kids here!! Did everyone ready that??? 8!!!! (insert "never again" right here). But they were great. Just silly and loud and joyful and loud. Too loud for the Mistress of the Crypt. Or Tomb. Or whatever, as long as it is quiet. I did one thing majorly majorly right: I hired one of my precious, awesome, incredible high school students to work the party. She earned her forty bucks, let me tell you. The kids were thrilled to be in the presence of a real, live, honest-to-God teen-ager complete with scanty tank top and make up, and I was thrilled to have her (someone that actually enjoys the chaos 8 kids can bring) direct their arts-and-crafts projects, dispense cake and lemonade, and help me clean up. I HIGHLY recommend this tactic. Even if her mother thought I overpaid her. But, in a tit-for-tat kind of way, the one thing I did majorly majorly wrong was squelch my initial impulse to have the party somewhere else. Somewhere that all I had to do was show up, with a check in one hand and a camera in the other. I toyed with the idea of a horseback riding party, was dissuaded by the price, and then ended up kicking myself (metaphorically) for not doing it: I spent as much as the horses would have cost all by myself. It is oh so easy to do. Sadly.
But, never again. One kid next year (besides mine) someplace special. Or 8...at a barn. The best part (for the adults) was watching her pull a bright, cherry-red satin sheet (fitted) that shrouded one of those cool clear boxes with the colored oils in it. Kind of a low-tech Lava Lamp. But the sheet...the room fell silent (thank God!) and I just loved it. Loved that he wanted to give it to her, and his parents let him. The sheet will be repurposed to make sleeping bags for Kaya and Julie, the most ridiculously overpriced and best dressed dolls ever. And now with the fanciest sleeping bags ever. My friend Dawn, however, gave Ella her most favorite present ever: a wig. Dawn has three, purchased months ago, before her hair came off. Mine too, but that's a different story. Ella fell completely in love with the wigs especially a hot little number called "Ginger." Every time we visited her, Ella would put her wigs on, then stroke them, trying on one after another. The word "love" just isn't strong enough. But now she has a Ginger of her own. It sleeps on our bedpost. It is scary. And she is very, very happy.