“8-year-old birthday parties are really fun!” I said to one of the moms who was coming to pick up her daughter.
She gave me a half smile and asked, “Are you being facetious?” And I totally wasn’t.
Friends! 8-year-olds are AWESOME! We have turned the page! It is a new day! A third cliché of some sort! I mean, look, we spent an entire party and I didn’t have to do ANYthing! No one had to pin anything on anything else. I didn’t have to break up any fights or hear any whining. It was like everyone there was a full kidperson and it was glorious.
Some of the reasons that things went so well, I have to point out, were the fine people at Petra Cliffs, where we held this event. You can’t really beat a party that comes with two adult supervisors. They made it fun for everyone, and I even learned how to belay. Normally the only things I belay are orders given to me, but now I can belay people as well! And I wanted to help! I can’t tell you how many birthday parties I have been to or hosted at which I have always been thinking, just a teensy bit, “is it over yet?” Not this time. This time I watched my daughter and her friends scale the walls with pride and joy.
Also, 8-year-olds are awesome. They are funny, they are fun, and they can entertain themselves for the most part. One of Ruby’s gifts at the party was a pack of mustaches, which of course they all put on. I don’t think I can adequately describe the silliness of watching a bunch of 2nd graders in fake mustaches climb rock walls, so you will just have to imagine it. These pictures might help.
I will include this caveat in my review of 8-year-old birthday parties. Last year, instead of a party, we took Ruby to New York City for the weekend. We didn’t really have a 7-year-old party. It is possible that 7 was the turning point year for kids to be spectacularly fantastic, and we missed it. Hard to say. But I can confirm, from personal experience only, that birthdays 1-6 involved a lot more work and supervision, and that 8 is, at long last a breath of fresh air, and two more clichés.
In less than two weeks Edward will turn 5. We will begin the magical years of childhood, with neither child being a baby/toddler or a teenager. They will both be in school. I fully expect to look back fondly on everything that is about to happen to me, even as I already am missing what is passing away. Every age brings with it a different sort of adventure, and oh, how exciting it is to find out what the next one will be! I’m loving it already!
P.S. – I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to show you the cake I made for her, but holding things back is not really in my nature. I am both extremely proud of the awesome rock climbing cake I made for her, and completely embarrassed that, as I put the finishing touches on, waaaaaaay past my bedtime after an exhausting day, I misspelled “birthday.” Ah well. Please forgive my ridiculous error, and enjoy the cool rocks.