Passionate About the Community
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Party Politics: Who gets invited to your kid’s birthday?

No. 5 balloon in the sky

Who gets invited to your kids’ birthday parties? Their friends? Your friends? Everyone you know?

My daughter turned 5 this summer. That’s right. On the surface of In the Valley of the Sun, in the middle of the summer.

I’ve written before that my daughter and I share a birthday. I grew up in California, and whether I was in the mountains at my mom’s in Northern California or near the beach at my dad’s in Southern California, the weather was perfect. Now? Not so much. Our birthday fell on a Friday that happened to top out at 111 degrees here in Mesa.

Up until recently, we could get by with just inviting our friends over with their kids. But now that she’s getting older, she has her own friends – friends from her old school (where her sister still goes), friends from her new school, neighborhood friends.

A party at the park might be able to accommodate all of these people, if it wasn’t hot as blazes outside. The rest of my options mean someone gets left out.

Party at the house: Everyone has to stay inside, the house gets destroyed because, well, what do you expect when 72 people are all in your house?

Pool Party: You don’t have a pool, and your kids don’t swim independently yet. You could rent out a pool but you’d have to spend the whole time in the water with one of your children rather than entertaining your guests.

N0 Party: Might work for some kids, but my kid has been talking about her party ever since we didn’t throw her one last year, and after every other party she attended since.

Party at an entertainment venue: You could either limit your guest list or take out another mortgage on your house.

The last option was the one we chose this year, and we had a party at a local kids’ museum. It was awesome and my daughter had a great time! But it also meant we had to leave a lot of people off the list. We ended up inviting only our closest friends (school friends are hard since we didn’t know how to reach most of them during the summer) and her bestie down the street. As if I didn’t already feel bad about this (some of the people we had to leave off the list are people who have invited us to their kids’ parties) my daughter would inevitably see them and tell them about her party. It was so awkward. Hopefully the kids never thought twice about it and the parents were understanding because they’ve been there.

In the end, she had fun, and that’s what matters. In the future, well, maybe I’ll make sure we’re visiting grandma or grandpa during our birthday – that’ll help with the guest list and the weather.

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