Monday, February 21, 2011

The gift of 2 birthday parties

I will admit it, when we first got two invitations to birthday parties on the same day, I was a little bothered. A whole day would be shot. David was of course going to be out of town, so I would not have any help. And they were in opposite directions. And the times were 2-4 and then 4-6. Seriously. A whole day.

The day before we went to Target and decided on the gifts that they would take. It was somewhat amusing because Jessa was going to a boy's birthday party and Spencer was going to a girl's party. Funny. After much searching and several ups and downs of every toy aisle, they both found the perfect gifts. Whew.

We all slept late Saturday morning and then I started the long process of getting everyone ready to go. At this point, I was still a little bummed. If they overlapped, it would be easier. If they were closer, it would be easier. If David were home, it would be easier. But it didn't matter what I thought, this was the way that it was.

We headed out to Jessa's friends party first. I was so tickled at how cute they all were when they first saw each other. All of these children who spend their whole weeks together in class at school were SO thrilled to see each other. So I my heart was smiling as we left my sweet girl in the midst of a loud fun party with all of her friends!

Spencer and I got back to the car. And I looked over at him and thought, now to kill some time. So I asked him, "Are you hungry?" He said he was, so I told him I would take him anywhere he wanted to go. He chose McDonald's. We headed off, just the two of us, chatting away. We had a nice late lunch together.

Now, Spencer and I spend lots of time together just the two of us during the weeks. His school is not as long as Jessa's, so we do get time alone. But this was extra nice because we did not have anything we had to do. We had no errands to run. We just had 2 free hours. Just the two of us. We were not in a hurry. We just sat and ate and talked. We played with his happy meal toy. We spun around in our fancy chairs. And then we drove around looking for snowmen. And I got to really focus on just Spencer. I even got him an ice cream at McDonald's! It was shaping up to be a special day, after all.

Then we went to pick up Jessa. She was already waiting on us. She had a wonderful time, and she was full of chatter about the party. So we booked it across town to Spencer's party. I got him all settled with his friends at his party, and now was my turn for my time with my girl. By this point, I had realized the awesomeness of this day. Sure I wasn't accomplishing anything tangible. At the end of the day, there would still be laundry that needed to be done and a dishwasher that needed to be unloaded. But as we all know, the most wonderful things in the world aren't tangible. They aren't even things at all.

I asked Jessa if she was hungry. Incredibly, even after a party with tons of food and cake, she was in fact still hungry. So I told her the same thing I had told Spencer - that I would take her anywhere that she wanted to go. She chose Burger King. So I drove to the closest Burger King and we went in and sat together.

I did not eat again - there is only so much fast food I can handle in a day. But I did sit with her while she ate. And we chatted and visited. We played with her happy meal toy and talked about where she sat at the party and what kind of cake they had. It was heavenly. While I get lots of time with just Spencer, I hardly ever get to spend time with just Jessa. We were not in a hurry. I was not tossing food back at her as we drove away from the drive in window. We were really enjoying each other. She even made me sit on the same side of the booth with her!
And just like that, it was time to pick up Spencer.
We were headed back home on a cold, dark Saturday night after a pretty cool day.
Who ever would have guessed?
A day that seemed like it was going to be a bust, spent driving all over town, rushing from one party to the next, not accomplishing anything at all. This day turned out to be one of the best days I have had in a long while. I may have purchased, wrapped, and helped deliver two presents, but on this cold winter Saturday, I got the best gift. Precious time to just enjoy my babies, one at a time. Priceless.

No comments: