Yesterday morning (Friday the 13th—I shoulda known) I woke up with a plan. Get the kids off to school, shower, phone-interview a doctor for an article I’m writing, then put together the makings for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day Tea Party. For her and eight of her classmates. No problem. I had all day to bake cupcakes, ice them, make sandwiches, drinks, wash and cut up strawberries and pineapple, clean the house up, place the table with linens and party dishes, make up a love-themed Bingo game, wrap the prizes for the games, shred the tissue for the craft, decorate the house a bit. Plenty of time.
Then I checked my email and my boss needed me to edit some articles for her. Last minute. Today. Please? Oh. My. Gosh. I mixed up the cupcakes and interviewed the doctor while the cupcakes were baking. I could hear the timer going off and he was still talking. “Um, may I please put you on hold?” Dashed to the kitchen and yanked the cupcakes out of the oven. Back to the interview.
Finished with him and went into overdrive. Managed to edit seven out of 16 articles, hoping that would be a good enough ratio to help me keep my job. Vacuumed the den and mopped the kitchen floor. Kinda. Did a lame job putting up decorations but decided by the time nine little girls are in the house, would it really matter? Iced the PupCakes, which turned out looking more like Muppets gone horribly wrong, but decided they’d taste good and that’s half of it.
At 1:15 I got a phone call from my son’s friend Rachel. She wanted to know if I was serious when, last night at Hobby Lobby, I suggested she could come to Mia’s tea party if she didn’t have anything better to do. Was I serious? Heck, yeah! “I’ll be there about 2:30,” she said. Cool. Rachel can do the craft prep. She works at Hobby Lobby. She’s more than qualified.
And then at 2:30, 15 minutes to go, my friend Tracy came over to help. Actually, she was an angel—not just a friend. She took over the kitchen, wrapped the prizes, decorated the table and chairs, washed the strawberries and everything else while I dashed off to pick up five of the girls from school. I passed Rachel in the driveway and she ran in to help Tracy.
Well, after two hours of fun, food and games, Tracy finished washing all the dishes and Rachel picked up the craft mess while the girls’ parents collected them and went home.
Later that evening I asked Mia what was her favorite thing about her party. She said, “None of it.” I nearly dropped her off my lap and went in search of a more grateful child to parent. Instead, I asked for a clarification. She said, “I loved all of it, so I don’t have a favorite thing.” Good answer. I just might keep her around another year.
Happy Valentine’s Day!