It’s very easy to bemoan the excess of a kid’s birthday party. Does that make sense to spend money on balloons, pony rides, catered food? And I say, Why not? Â If I had endless money this year I think I would be fine with treating Vivien’s 4th like she was the child of 1930s movie star. You know why?
1) It helps the economy. The balloon company is a small business that is struggling this year, and the guy wrangling the ponies probably can’t afford health care. Helping small businesses stay in business is charitable. And will do more for the economy that that waste o’ money TARP and all the other money given to banks who don’t pass on the largess to their clients who need a small business loan or their mortgages reduced (argh, don’t get me started).
2) It’s fun.
Now, the only downside I can see to this (if money were no object) is the kid could become a big jaded, spoiled brat, and it puts a lot of pressure on mom to top herself every year.
When I was little there was a cool kiddie amusement park in LA (long gone, sadly and replaced by a disgusting mall that has the architectural integrity of a lump of poo). At Vivien’s age, I had my whole class there in a castle setting. We had jelly beans and cake and orange drink (who knows what it was). Then my mom gave us a long line of tickets and we were off. The tilt-a-whirl was my fave.
After that place closed down, my birthday parties never seemed as fun again. I think it’s great to have a wild, fun special day once a year.
In this Momversation, I ask the moms from our newer perch, not as little kids, but as moms, do they feel pressure around kid parties? Â I got a bit weepy (kind of like Hillary in New Hampshire, it might not seem weepy to some). I didn’t mean to, but my issue is size. We have downsized this year… forced to by the people who stole from us. I have set aside the money for Viv’s party a long time ago, but a little perplexed at how I can give her what she wants in our spatially challenged new environs.
To take some stand like “Hey, let’s go give this money to kids who have less, and you can eat this small cake with me” would be insincere. Not that gearing a party toward charity isn’t noble or something I would like to do in the future. But it has more to do with not wanting her to feel like she is a victim of crime more than she already has been forced to. Of course she doesn’t know that now, but I do.
And that’s the point.