Ordinarily, I love a party. Love having them in the calendar to look forward to. Love the build up of excitement as the day approaches. The colour, the food, the fun, the happiness. Children's parties, I would say I enjoy just as much as the adult variety. Before I had the boys I would bound along to parties for littlies of friends and family, lapping up all that childish energy. I used to dream of the day when I too, would have my own little ones to dress up and take along, gift in hand, to party party party.
But on Saturday, I was forced to dig deep and drag that desire to party out of me. A first birthday celebration for a good friend's little lady and I knew I couldn't miss it. In reality, I didn't want to miss it. I just wished I could source that fervor, normally found in abundance within this big-kid-of-a-Mama. So I spruced myself and my big boy up, left an extremely fractious and overtired Felix with Nana and Pop, then rocked on over to share in the milestone for my friends and their daughter.
I'm sure glad I did. A sunny afternoon, at the home of people who care about me and my family, with friends who have also experienced the dark depths I've been to of late. Women who were open and honest and comforting, with their own stories of sadness and suffering. It was enlightening, in a way I wouldn't have expected. A day with a healthy mix of reflection on one instance and genuine elation for another. And the best bit, seeing a bunch of animated tots, zipping around in the Summer heat. Tots I have known and cared for, from the very beginning.