Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Optimistic Party Planner

Plans a garden party for her children's birthday in February. Even in San Francisco February is one of the soggiest months.

After days of rain, she refuses to cancel the much anticipated bounce house, even though every other client of the company has done so. She believes the single weather forecast that predicts scattered showers over the four that say it will be raining stair-rods all day. She wakes to the sound of birds tweeting, sees a sliver of blue and feels sure the weather will change. Much like her cat, who tries every window and door, seemingly believing that surely one of the windows in the house will miraculously exit into a dry world, she ignores the overwhelming evidence pouring from the sky.

With just hours until party time she becomes despondent and angry at the weather. She wishes she had insisted upon renting an indoor party space instead of going to the effort of having people to her home. The kids, already anxious that their party will be spoiled by the rain now have a grumpy, snapping mother to contend with too. Then the cupcakes arrive. She puts them out on the table, along with the big cakes. Her coworker surprised her with two beautiful home made cakes for the party, and just looking at them, she is floored by the kindness of others. The children are so excited about the cakes, the balloons and are eagerly anticipating having their little friends to visit. She pulls herself together.

The optimistic party planner sends a note to her guests that the party is on. She takes up the carpets and sends her husband out for a giant tub of play-do. She sets up activity stations around the living room and hopes that this will entertain fifteen children in her 1600 square foot house.

And it does. She learns that all children really need to have fun is a bunch of other children and a hefty dose of pizza and cake. Watching geekygirl give her best friend Will a tour around the house is priceless; "this is our bathtub, we take baths here with all these bath toys" she tells him, very seriously. She is grateful to be in her own home, glass of wine in hand. The indoor party places frown upon bringing in beer or wine for the adults, I suspect, even though it goes so well with a slice of cake. There is a cozy intimacy as parents relax while children play cacophanously, the rain still hammering down outside.

Geekygirl and geekyboy had a wonderful birthday party after all, and the optimistic party planner collapsed with relief after pulling it off. She may have downed a couple of extra glasses of wine after everyone went home, too.  I fully expect she will cross her fingers for fine weather, and do it again next year.