Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where I've Been All Weekend

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Whew, now I can sit back and breathe a bit - the princess party we threw for Maya tonight was a resounding success. Five little princesses in their finest frippery spent the evening cavorting to their hearts' content, going home two hours later spent and happy, wearing the ribbon "crowns" they made and clutching goody bags full of sweet surprises. Their baser side was not neglected either, as they bashed the crap out of a butterfly pinata. This was a new one for all of the guests, pinatas have only just become available in Israel and most people still don't know what they are (Maya saw one on Dora and determined that this was a must for any self-respecting birthday party - her other requirements included "cake" and "decorations").
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This was the first time Maya has had, or even been interested in having, a real "friends" party. Normally children in Israel invite their entire class, upwards of 25 children, plus however many outside friends. (This large size means that parents generally hire professional entertainers to handle the insane amount of kid-wrangling necessary.)
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Maya's not really the big loud entertainer type though, nor does she like large crowds or sound systems, so she and I decided that small and intimate was the way to go. We invited four close friends (the only other two girls in her class and two other friends) and threw a princess party, because there is nothing dearer to Maya's heart right now than princesses, unless perhaps it's chocolate milk. Having so few children meant that we (I) would be serving as party mistress extraordinaire, and I will freely admit that I was quaking in my crocs. The thought of having to entertain a group of children used to a polished, action-packed performance left me with a major knot in my stomach. Still, they are little girls, and I myself was one of those once, so I crossed my fingers, wrote up a list of activities, closed my eyes and jumped.
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And it worked. Everyone had a ball. It was completely over the top girly and very very pink and they loved it. Heck, even I had fun, and my husband outdid himself managing the background logistics while my son discovered his inner DJ. A real family effort.
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Maya, who stayed in her costume (including her crown! And her braids! She asked me for braids!) the entire evening (!) was beaming from ear to ear. She was absolutely thrilled and very much enjoyed her moment in the spotlight. Her smile made all of the behind the scenes effort worth it. There's no question that a professional entertainer makes life easier, albeit more expensive, but the satisfaction you get from knowing that YOU are the one to put that smile on all those little faces and see them gasp in wonder when they discover that the strange thing they've been whacking with that stick is full of CANDY is in another class entirely.
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Happy birthday Princess Maya. You earned every bit of this one kiddo.
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(Photos cropped to remove other people's kids.)

25 comments:

Leora said...

My daughter took one look at the cake, smiled, and said "I wanna get it!"

MommyWizdom said...

That is a cool birthday cake... In reading your post I was left wondering if you didn't offend anyone by not inviting the entire class?

Anyway, I'm glad the pinata was a huge success... Pinata's in Israel makes me smile really wide!! You may have started a trend!

Happy Birthday to Maya!

Nancy said...

WoW ... such a beautiful happy princess face.

I think her party sounds way better than the traditional pro-type party.

This Eclectic Life said...

Happy birthday to the little princess! Maya looks so beautiful and happy...just makes me smile.

Congrats, Mom & Dad for pulling it off...and surviving!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Aaugh. You should have hollered when you needed help. We have parties for the kids (for lots of guests or not) here at home all the time. I'd have been full of pep talks even though you really didn't need them!

laughingatchaos said...

Congrats! I know what a big accomplishment that must have been. :) Happy Birthday to the princess! :)

Living Balanced said...

We did the same thing this year. We invited 7 of my son's closest friends. Intimate, and very fun.

Usually a few months before his birthday I start to get a bit stressed about what to do. I think I'm finally over that. Yeah!

anymommy said...

Happy Birthday, Maya! I'm so glad it all went so well. Nice job, mom! And, that cake is lovely, you are a princess party expert.

quilly said...

Well done, mama! Sit down and put your feet up. You've earned it -- and that huge smile, too.

Robin said...

That's a good question MommyWizdom, but in this case I really think it was fine. We only invited two children from the class so it wasn't like half the class was there and the other half wasn't. We did invite ALL the girls (those three - 2 + Maya, are all there are), but since it's a special (speech and language) class things are already done a bit differently there, not every child has a separate friends party. We also held the party over a school vacation so no big in-class anticipation and no public invitations (I'd never hand out invitations in school for just part of the class). We also emphasized that to the parents that this was just a small quiet party for a few friends (also so that our guests wouldn't be expecting the whole shebang).

She'll be having the standard celebration in school with her whole class sometime after the vacation is finished :-).

poppy fields said...

Happy Birthday Maya!

Maribeth said...

Happy Birthday Princess Maya, and look at your handsome Prince son!
It sounds like a great time and I love the cake too!

Shannon said...

That smile is absolutely priceless! Way to go Mama. You really out-did yourself. That cake is awesome and it sounds like it was princess perfect.

Darcy said...

Oh look at her Robin! She's SO happy and so beautiful! Way to go mama!

Janet said...

What a fantastic cake! Happy birthday, Princess Maya!

Jill said...

Oh I so love that birthday cake!!! What a wonderful party you had... and the birthday girl looks so happy! Mazal Tov!

Lis Garrett said...

Eeks! I got all teary eyed reading this post, and Maya's smile just about did me in!! I'm so glad she had a great time. :-)

LK said...

I ADORE that Barbie cake! I hate Barbie, but that is the absolute best cake for a little girl. Did you make it yourself?

AVT Coach said...

That is the perfect kind of party in my opinion. The attention should be on the birthday girl rather than on the entertainer. She was absolutely radiant in those pictures and you should feel proud. The pinata was a great idea and love that cake!! I know you are so pleased!

Robin said...

I did make the cake. Maya poured over my cake books literally for months before finally deciding that she wanted a pink princess cake :).

Domestic Spaz said...

Happy Birthday Maya! What a beautiful smile she has. :) Now I can't stop smiling.

angie said...

Look at that cake....and her happy face. Sounds perfect....

mspennylane said...

Wow that cake is amazing! Sounds like a perfect party :)

Jientje said...

Wow, congratulations to Princess Maya, she looks so happy, hat radiant smile is priceless!

Janice said...

She IS a princess. I loved that picture of her in her tiara, etc. And what a dreamy cake!