The kids had a bday party to make an appearance at this weekend. So, we hastily picked up and wrapped two gifts that the kids really wanted for themselves, sadly left a very content Mommy at home with her back-to-back playoff games (and the laundry, granted), hauled our cookies all the way across the water, circled the block forever to find parking, made our way past the hordes of other birthdaypartygoers to finally join our little group of 5- and 6-year-olds in the last room before cake and ice cream.
The venue was, essentially, a bouncy house warehouse. Literally, wall to wall bouncy houses for the kids to run and yell and scream and tumble before jooping them up with ice cream and cake with 3 inches of frosting and sending them home with their already exhausted parents whose ears were still ringing and heads still pounding from the sheer volume of the whole experience.
And the parents, all lined up side by side on built-in benches, were talking incessantly about playdates and bingo nights and field trips and favorite parks, and I so just wanted to be home. I wanted to be out on our front steps, reading a book, watching the kids perfect their chalk drawings and yelling at the dogs to quiet down. I wanted to be outside, away from all this superficial jibber-jabber, feeling violated by the pretentious chit chat on a Sunday (who the hell throws a party on a Sunday, anyway???), and feeling utterly deprived of the full enjoyment of MY weekend.
And I don't know when I became that person. When I stopped indulging stupid pleasantries and small talk. When I gave up on the idea of finding lifelong friends in the people that spawned our children's classmates just because they did.
And I wonder if I'm just being too cynical suddenly or if this is actually a good addition to my palette. If feeling a little jaded is going to make me a lonely bitter old woman, or if eliminating all the fluff will finally afford me the opportunity to find (and recognize) more substance when I see it.
And then I get home and forward the pics I took at the party to all the parents that were there. I respond to the woman I'm helping out about my ideas for the kids' yearbook. I finish up the Xmas gift thank you notes. I RSVP via email to our next in a long line of party invitations this year with a cheery, "The kids can't wait!!"
And I realize, eh, this is just one of those things that makes parenting the single biggest challenge of your life. But, really, bring back the green projectile vomit and mustard diarrhea ANY DAY. This other shit just exhausts me!