Saturday, January 24th at 4:00pm we all gathered together to celebrate the life of my beautiful, special little man. In hindsight, perhaps this was not the best idea.
So despite my best efforts to prepare and be ready long before the day of the party arrived, Saturday was a crazy day. I had tried to get the cleaning done and the shopping done long before the party. Yeah, that didn't happen. So of course while we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off, Rob bent down and picked up an empty duffel bag. He didn't move in a funky way. It wasn't heavy. But that's all it took and his back was G-O-N-E...gone!
There I was with a house to clean, shopping to do, children to care for, and a party to set-up and my partner in crime was down for the count. (Oy!) I admit it, I was freaking out. Luckily, I had already called Mom G. and begged her to come and help. I was waiting for her to call me so I could pick her up. Even with Rob's Mom coming, I was still freaking out and feeling the day spinning wildly out of control. Enter "Super Sister"! (duh tu da da) I called my big sister, Trisha, near tears because I had no idea how I was going to get everything done. True to form, Trisha saved the day. She was everything a big sister should be, in my opinion.
Mom G. called me at about 10am to say that she was ready. Mr. Emmett John and I went to pick her up. Then while we were out I did my running around. We hit the Dollar Store for cups, silverware, napkins, table cloth and some other odds and ends that weren't really on my list but I bought them anyway. :D (lol) Then we hit Giant Eagle so I could pickup the ice cream and pop. I completely forgot the chips and candy that I had also intended to pick up. Eh well. We swung through McDonald's for 2 ice teas and then headed home.
All of that build up, now for the party. ;)
The party was scheduled to start at 4pm. Trisha arrived at 12noon, shortly after Mom G. and I returned from our running around. And by running around, I mean Mom G. was kind enough to hang out in the car with a sleeping Emmett John. We ate lunch and then tackled the house. Mom G. took on the dishes, which then morphed into her cleaning the kitchen. Trisha and I tackled the laundry that needed folding and the bathroom. She was also kind enough to get Elliott Richard dressed, which is no easy feat. He made her offer every single shirt he owns. Only to choose the shirt she offered him first in the end. (lol) Between Mom G., Trisha and myself we managed to knock out the cleaning, shopping and general party-prep by 3pm! :) (Woo who!)
People started to arrive around 4pm, right on time. (I love punctuality.) All told, the guest list was pretty long. :) We had:
Grammy (Great Grandma C.)
Jenna (Uncle Tim's girlfriend)
Matt (Aunt Jenny's boyfriend)
Michelle ("Mo-Mo", our neighbor)
The party itself was a huge success! We had pop and cake and ice cream. I had baked some cupcakes. My parents picked up a 1/4 sheet cake from Giant Eagle. We talked, laughed and mingled. Gavin bounced off the walls until it was time for cake and ice cream. We sang "Happy Birthday" to him and he blew out his candles. Then Elliott Richard got ready to blow out his candle (my method for keeping him from blowing out Gavin's candles) but he refused to blow it out without us singing "Happy Birthday" to him. (lol) While we mingled and ate cake, Gavin continued to bounce off the walls. (Perhaps this should have been a clue as to what lie ahead.) Before long my Grammy and Aunt Sharon said they needed to get going, plus Gavin was getting more and more hyper as time went on so we opted to move right along to the presents.
Let me just say this, he made out like a bandit! And boy can my boy open gifts! Michelle commented on the fact that she's never seen a kid open gifts that fast before. (lol)
He was thrilled beyond words with his new Kinex Ferris wheel. After he had torn the wrapping off all the gifts, he grabbed the box and made a bee-line for his room. Throughout the night Brian went upstairs and helped Gavin put it all together and get it sorted out. Thank God for Brian! Rob and I are horrible with complicated sets like that. While I'm confident that Gavin would have eventually had the whole thing built, it happened just that much faster with Brian's help. :)
People slowly trickled out after Gavin opened his gifts. In the end, it was Rob, me, Trisha, Jenn, and Matt. Elliott Richard went to bed between 8 and 9pm. We let Gavin stay up until 10-ish since it was his birthday party and all. At around 9:30pm the adults decided we were starving and we ordered Pizza Hut. (My first Pizza Hut pizza in about 6 months! That's another post that's coming.) It was a really awesome way to end the evening. Sitting around and eating pizza with some of my favorite people in the world. Overall, it was a good day.
That was then. Sunday was a whole different story.
At the time when I planned the party, I wanted to celebrate Gavin. I wanted to make his birthday big and bright and special. I wanted him to be able to look around and see just how much we all love him. In that respect, I accomplished my goal. What I failed to take into account were the side effects. I failed to think past Saturday into Sunday and the next week. That was my fault.
We spent Sunday and the week following trying to...adjust. Sunday night we couldn't get Gavin to give up on his Ferris wheel and go to bed. The insanity that ensued over the next week...I can't really find words to describe it. It wasn't any single behavior. It was more a general feeling running through the household, controlled by Gavin. Much like the under-tow of the ocean is controlled by the moon and God. It's nothing that can be seen by an outsider. However, it is certainly something that can be felt by the swimmers in the ocean.
Because of this feeling, this current, Rob and I have made the decision that this year's birthday party was quite honestly the party to end all parties, at least as far as Gavin is concerned. That's not to say that we won't celebrate his birthday every year, because we most certainly will. Nor will we prohibit others from celebrating. It will just have to be celebrated in little, tiny bursts either over the course of a week or possibly in a single day (scheduled in a fashion similar to doctor's appointments). Either way we won't attempt to overwhelm him with that many people again. Even when it comes to Elliott Richard and Emmett John's birthdays, we will likely make arrangements with my parents to leave early and take Gavin with them. That way we are not forced into avoiding birthday parties for them as well.
So the party itself was a smashing success, in my opinion. The aftermath, fallout and next 7 days...yeah, not so much. You live. You learn, I suppose.