My baby boy is turning 5 next week. I can't believe how time had flown.
I can still remember the terrifying night he was born and how we thought we were going to lose him. His cord was wrapped around his neck not once but twice and when his head came out he was (from what I'm told) a terrible shade of purple. It took a long time for the Dr to get in and for them to get his cord fixed and delivered.
The most beautiful sound I ever heard was Connor crying just after they'd rushed him from my room to the NICU. He only stayed there for two hours for monitoring.
Next week we're having a birthday party for him. He's having a glow in the dark mini putt party. He's invited 15 boys from his class. Yep. 15 five year old boys. Yahoo!!
I am paying the girls to help me with the party because they'll be in groups of 4. I don't know how many parents are going to stay - some of the kids coming are only 4 (actually a few could very well be 3) and though I don't know any of the parents - some people are okay with leaving their young ones at a party alone.
It got me to thinking about the first 'friend' birthday party I took Emily to. It was also the last friend birthday party I've taken any of my kids to.
It was a little girl she was at daycare with. It would have been the little girl's 3rd birthday.
I was (am) painfully shy and didn't do well in social situations where I don't know anyone. I am quiet, observant and withdrawn and I don't do small talk well. But I took Emily to the party because every now and then I like to challenge myself. Plus, Emily had been in the daycare for a while and I knew a few of the parents.
So, I showed up to the party 5 minutes after the scheduled start time. Yes, I know, I usually show up everywhere 5 minutes early but my rational for this was that I could come in after a couple of people were there and quietly join in.
But - I was the only one there. Besides the girls family we were the only 'guest' invited. And - even more awkward, the rest of the family wasn't actually showing up for another 2 hours.
I've had cancer. And the 3 hours I spent at that party were far worse. And no, I'm not being melodramatic. Even 10 years later I get anxious thinking about how awkward, uncomfortable and miserable I was at that party. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Finally, 3 hours later and before we even had cake I made an excuse about why we were going to have to leave and went. I almost cried when we left.
Two interesting things came out of that party.
The first was that it was the first time we'd ever been given a loot bag that cost probably as much as the gift we'd brought. It was full of toys, candy and even clothes from Children's Place.
The second was that I vowed that until my kids were old enough to be able to go to a party without Mommy that they weren't going to a party for someone I didn't know well. And I've stuck with that. My mom has been kind enough to take the kids to a few parties through the years but I just can't do it. I can't put myself in that awkward situation again and I figure if they are young enough that I still need to go to a party with them, they are young enough to forget pretty easily that they aren't going to a friends party.
It's a good thing not everyone is like me, otherwise Connor wouldn't have anyone at his party.
I'm looking forward to it.
My baby is growing up.