Each year, a friend of mine throws a wonderful gingerbread decorating party. Her house always looks gorgeous and it is clear that she spends a great deal of time making sure that all the guests have a fantastic time. There is a room set up with long tables and each spot has its own already assembled house that is waiting to be decorated. Many bowls of colorful candies are spread out on the tables and some of these tasty treats actually do end up stuck to the walls of these edible houses.
Initially, I didn’t think that we would be able to attend. I knew we had plans and so I declined the invitation without bringing it up with my TBP. There have been years where the laughter, music and unknown children created stress and a desire for an early exit.
“You mean we aren’t going?! We always go and I really want to!”
Sigh…I had mixed feelings because I had already said no to the invite, but I was really happy that he wanted to spend a Saturday with others. He typically feels that the weekends are meant for “recovery time” at home.
“If we say ‘Yes’ that means that you have to get dressed earlier than you do on the weekends.”
“I know and that’s okay”
“If we say ‘yes’ that means that you need to say ‘hello’ when people say ‘hi’ to you.”
“I know…I really want to see everyone and decorate a house.”
At this point, we made changes to our schedule and I texted to say that we could come if it wasn’t too late. My friend was very flexible and said that was no problem.
We arrived at the party a bit later than I hoped. I try to avoid being the last ones because it can be more overwhelming to my TBP when the group is already in full force. As expected the house looked beautiful and the decorating room was stuffed with busy little boy and girl elves all taking their “job” seriously. There was an empty space in the middle of a crowded table, but my son declined because he felt squished and the chatting of good friends seemed especially loud to him. Luckily, there was an individual table that housed extra candies and a spot just big enough for my son to design his masterpiece. He sat right down and did not give his “VIP” location a second thought. With just a bit of help, he completed a beautiful house and seemed proud of his work.
As with most days, my son’s interest shifted to video games and he started to show some of the other boys his current game on the Iphone. It was obvious, that there was more interaction with the boys this year. At one point, the crowd got a bit rowdy and the boys started using the stairs as a slide. I was surprised to look over and catch a glimpse of my son’s bright red sweater sliding down the stairs too. Although I wouldn’t typically be happy with this behavior in someone else’s home, I LOVED that he was participating!
The highlight of the party is always a visit from the big guy himself! Santa is placed next to the fancy tree and the kids take turns sharing their final pleas for this year’s requests. Although my TBP was not interested in a private meeting, he did agree to be part of the group picture with several other boys. My tall, gangly boy stood with a big smile even with many onlookers taking pictures.
After seeing my son at the party, I was SO glad that we went. As many of you know, activities like this one can be successful or they can back fire. I am pleased to say that this was a home run!