And one of the great lessons of motherhood is, I think, to figure out what your strengths are and then stop fretting too much about where you're weak and other people are strong. Comparison = Doom.
But God saw fit to give me a child who loves and lives for special occasions. Parties, holidays, decorations, sweets -- if it can be found in Martha Stewart A to Z, she's ready to make a paper chain to count down the days until it becomes her reality.
So I've learned to stretch a little. And somewhere between her dreams and my
Thus it was with Valentine's Day. She wanted a big party. I wanted a nice picture book from the library. So, we compromised. She could invite a few families -- the first four whose names left her mouth. :-) (So please, don't be put out if you weren't asked. It's me, not you.) Fortunately, we have no friends who come bearing checklists and white gloves. They're an awfully good sort, saying, "What can we bring?" and "How can I help?" And what seems overwhelming to management-challenged me becomes "Hey, this is actually fun!" Plus, my girls are old enough now to pitch in considerably with the shopping and food prep.
We ended up with five guests for a total of eight kids. They played a drawing game on those lace doily thingies. They ate snacks. They played "Don't Eat Pete" on special Valentine game boards Stefani made for us. We talked about the story of St. Valentine. I read one of my favorite stories about friendship-love: Amos & Boris. They handed out Valentines. They played outside. The End.
My children were happy, including The Party Girl. So was I. Studies, all conducted at this address, show that the reality of a houseful of smiling people is nearly always way more pleasant than the idea, after all.
Later, Daddy came home. He had notes and chocolate hearts for each of the children (so providential since they were truly suffering for candy).
My kids are now convinced, more than ever, that they have the best daddy in the world. But I saw him first. And I knew, before they were ever born, that that's the kind of daddy he'd be.