When my daughter, Ming Wai, turned four a few weeks ago, I was sort of torn. On the one hand, I am simply not the type of person to spend triple digits on a color-coordinated, catered, entertainment filled birthday bash for a kid who can’t read, and whose favorite game is Kick the Box Until it Falls Apart. On the other hand, it seemed a shame to give up a perfectly good excuse to eat cupcakes with our friends.
So, I compromised.
We met up with a few friends, and a few cousins, at a local park just behind our house. I loaded a birthday banner, some cupcakes, and some snacks into the stroller, and away we went!
It turned out to be quite a chilly, foggy morning, but we all had a really great time I think. And I was right about Ming Wai – she’s thrilled if there’s cupcakes, and over the MOON if someone will sing to her before she eats it.
I didn’t want to tell people NOT to bring gifts, since I knew she was looking forward to them, but I was really REALLY hoping this wasn’t going to turn into a big Plastic Love Fest. (You know what I’m talking about, right? One girl has a birthday party, and all the other girls bring her inexpensive plastic toys, which are broken or lost within a week. Unfortunately, this means that you must reciprocate when the other girls have their birthday parties. Or that seems to be the trend anyhow.) That was what I was worried about. And it wasn’t what happened! Ming Wai’s friends have brilliant mommies, and they all brought thoughtful, useful handmade gifts.
It was an absolutely lovely little playdate in the park!