Catching Up: Party Planning and My Super-Jock

 

I know. I’ve been completely MIA. I’m sorry about that. I’ve been grouchy this week, just like on Monday when I last posted, and with activities and a little cold, I’ve just been running out of energy by the end of the day. And now that it’s Thursday I owe you a listing of weekend events, but honestly? I think those posts are kind of boring, so I’m going to catch you up on what’s happening around here first. I promise I’ll post events later today.

We’re gearing up for J’s birthday, which is October 1st. October 1st always feels tricky to me, because September’s so busy and every time I think of J’s birthday I think, “Well, that’s all the way in October,” as if October were several weeks away, when in fact it’s on Monday. Monday! Cute W is actually traveling from Sunday until Tuesday, so that’s a bummer. In fact, just as I was typing this I realized that we’re not all four going to have dinner together again until Tuesday after her birthday.¬† Awe-some. And then her party’s the weekend after that that, with special guest appearances by Grandma and Grandpa.

J’s having her first sleepover (after I polled the parents, remember?), and she is super-excited. We haven’t done too much planning yet, but she’s picked out these party plates/napkins/etc. with flowers, owls, and peace signs,

and there’s going to be chocolate cake or cupcakes and chocolate frosting. I have the vague idea that I’m going to try to draw one of the little flower or butterfly designs on top of the frosting–works nicely because the background color on the design is chocolate brown–but we’ll see how that goes. Which reminds me, look at this freakishly adorable collection of cupcakes from iVillage if you are an ambitious baker and/or a Pinterest junkie.

We talked about where, exactly, the girls should sleep, and J feels strongly that the basement playroom should be party central. Thus ensued a flurry of activity because we’ve said for a while now that eventually the toy-a-palooza down there would be exchanged for a sofa and a tv for a big-kid hangout. Apparently at the ripe old ages of 10 and almost 8, the girls feel that the time has come. So while the girls were home yesterday they went into culling mode, sorting out the toys that they never play with anymore. I’d say that they were done with roughly half of their stuff, which was quite a pile. I ordered a futon mattress (we already have a frame languishing in our garage), and the plan is to take our old-fashioned, non-flat-screen tv out of basement storage in time for the party. J got very excited about the notion of a snack bar for her party, so that’s officially part of the plan. Am I concerned that these little girls will have to walk up a flight of steps and through three different rooms to get to a bathroom? Well, yeah, I won’t lie. Maybe I just won’t serve drinks. Like, at all.

Anyway, practically the entire day yesterday was spent cleaning and organizing. I was joking that we were celebrating the Day of Atonement by atoning for all of our consumerism and greed by clearing the stuff out. The girls were thrilled with all of their extra space, although it won’t last too long. Along with the futon and tv, J’s big birthday gift is a gymnastics mat. And then I had to laugh, because at some point during a break in the action, M took it upon herself to start her Christmas Wish List. In September. I guess it’s tough letting go of all of that stuff.

M actually titled her Christmas list, “All I want for Christmas is adidas!” Um, hello? Is she trying out for a commercial or something? Or is adidas now super-popular in the way that Vera Bradley snuck up on me?

M has shifted into full-on jock mode. She’s begging for warm-ups and a soccer bag and a new pair of Adissages, which are those slide-on soccer shoes. She pretty much lives in soccer t-shirts. Another mom reported to me that when she asked her son if he’d wear his uniform t-shirt to school, he responded, “Sure, Mom. M wears those all the time.” I’ll admit that occasionally I’m a teensy bit bitter that neither of my children ever want to wear skirts or dresses anymore. I mean, look how cute they were:

But mostly, I really like it. I go to school to help in the library, so I notice what the kids are wearing. Fifth grade is funny, because some of the girls are still wearing much the same outfits that their mothers dressed them in for first grade: little t-shirts with flowers and bows and coordinating pants. Other girls are already a little too tweened out for my tastes, with short shorts or poufy skirts, lacy leggings, and plenty of sparkles. So if occasionally I wish that M looked slightly more polished than is possible while wearing an over-sized soccer t-shirt, I feel fortunate. I know that M’s way too strong-willed to let me dress her (has been for years), and if she wanted to go all mini-super-tramp on me, we’d have endless battles. So this works for me. And come to think of it, it’s easy on the budget, too.

The weirdest part, though, is that M looks exactly like all the girls in college whom I imagined Cute W would end up dating. We were friends for the first three semesters of school. Cute W played soccer, and he was friendly¬† with most of the women on the women’s soccer team. There was a whole little crowd of them who just seemed way too cool for me. They were all kick-butt jocks, and they were just effortlessly adorable in their comically oversized socks and slide shoes, their hair pulled back in messy ponytails. They weren’t fancy, but they had that mixture of confidence and power and fresh air that made them seem, to me, like pint-sized superheroes. Before Cute W kissed me, it never occurred to me that he could possibly be interested in me with those awesome girls walking around, and I remain somewhat baffled that he ended up with me instead of one of them. And now, would you look at this?

I’m raising one of those girls.

 

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