We had a Potty Party for Ella when she was potty training. Cake, streamers, the whole shebang. It was a pink cake, of course, with sprinkles everywhere and a huge "E" on it. We put pink streamers on Ella's chair at the table, because she was the Girl of Honor. We got a big kick out of that party. The Pretty Pink Potty Party.
We have an annual Last Day Of School party. Which, now that the kids are older and would rather play outside with friends than sit in the house chatting with their Mama, involves ingesting a ginormous piece of chocolate cake that has a bus painted in frosting on it, and says "Happy Last Day of School!!" Then everyone takes off out the door to search for buddies. But I'm still happy. Because I feel like I've made a special memory for my kids, no matter how short-lived. Every year, the boys ask now, "Will you make the bus cake for us today?" I guess they like the tradition as much as I do.
This weekend, I held a family tea party. Well, it was really a hot cocoa party, since no one except me likes tea. I found this cute little espresso set that has teeny cups and saucers that have crazy colors and designs on them, and I thought it would make a great tea set for our family. And the set came with 6 cups! It was meant to be. Early in the day on Saturday, I informed our family that they were all cordially invited to the cocoa party that evening, after we had played all day and taken baths/showers. So it was even cuter than I had thought it would be because it was a PJ Cocoa Party! Pj's make everything cozier and snuggly.
I filled our teeny cups with hot cocoa, and on the colorful little saucers I gave everyone a pumpkin cookie, three chocolate chips, two strawberries, and the classy piece de resistance...two gummy worms. I lit candles on the table and called my clean, sweet children to the Cocoa Party. Alex nodded and smiled and tolerated my craziness.
We sat in warm candlelight, eating our special treats and sipping our cocoa out of mini cups while holding our pinkies out. I told everyone how much I loved them and how much I enjoyed spending time with them. We talked about the day we had had, and what the next day would hold. We discussed at great length the pros and cons of sour gummy worms versus sweet, and Ella volunteered to eat any worms that other family members didn't want. Then we snuggled all the kids off to bed. It was a sweet moment, that Cocoa Party.
Here's my point. You can celebrate anything. You can find any little moment to make a celebration out of the smallest details of life. This is one thing I love more than anything else about Motherhood: I get to shape the world for my kids, at least for a short time while they're young. I want to show them that life is so good and so much fun. Life should be held onto with both hands and raised in the air and cheered out loud for its glorious, amazing moments. I love showing my kids that there is always a reason to celebrate.
I have been called "exuberant" by some people who know me well. There are times I wish I wasn't so exuberant, but mostly I can't help it so I just embrace it. If exuberance is loving life, then I'm exuberant with a capital E.
I love to party with my kids. And my husband, who has learned he can never talk me out of balloons and streamers and cake if there is even a minuscule reason to celebrate something. (I like to think that he secretly loves the parties, because as a grown up we don't have the opportunity to celebrate many things with cake and streamers, just for fun. And I like to think he thinks I'm exuberant and not crazy-loopy. I appreciate the way that he lets me be me without any boundaries or criticism.)
Why not celebrate potty training? Or a lost tooth? Or a Tuesday? Or just being a family? I want my kids to know that celebrating something is a way to cherish the moment, and there are so many moments that should be cherished and cheered. I want my kids to be as exuberant about life as I am. So bring on the cake and teeny cups! Pj's and cocoa for everyone, I say!