A few weeks ago, I bid on and won a yoga and picnic package at a charity auction for our local children’s museum. On Friday, I hosted a dozen friends for yoga in my backyard and a lovely lunch (catered by someone other than me) while the kids were at school. It was my 36th birthday — and one of my happiest mornings.
At 10:30 a.m., the yoga instructor arrived, as gentle and soothing as her expertise implies. We picked a flat shaded spot of my yard for class, then chatted about kids and friends and birthdays.
By 11 a.m., my kitchen was filled with the hugs and smiling faces of some wonderful friends, along with lots of lovely birthday cards, plants, flowers and some unauthorized gifts (no presents means NO presents, people). Strong sun (on a ninety degree day) had enveloped the recently shaded area of my yard, but my guests willingly set their mats out anyway.
I’ve been in my yard hundreds of times and most of these friends have spent considerable time there as well. Never have we paused to listen to the rustling of the leaves and make out the sounds of our kids at recess just down the hill. We definitely never lay in the wood chips beside the playscape, focusing on our breath.
My preparations for this party included making some energy bites and mini yogurt parfaits, brushing the pollen off my deck furniture and getting dressed in exercise clothes. Oh, and I also bought two six-packs of fancy bottled water at Marshall’s. Thankfully, the donor of the yoga/picnic package went to some extraordinary effort. While we were enjoying our backyard yoga, she slipped into my kitchen and set up a small feast, complete with a personalized menu.
Never much of a barfly, I was grateful when the twenty-something days of meet-me-at-the-bar birthday celebrations gave way to going out for thirty-something birthday dinners with the girls. Now, I’m simply over the moon to be back on the party circuit. Last month, I attended a friend’s 40th, where local caterers taught a cooking class as they prepared a four course meal for us. AWESOME! Next week, I have another 40th birthday party to attend; this time, at a local farm and vineyard. HURRAH!
My kids have all sorts of parties to go to: bounce houses, video game trucks, science museums, nature centers, art studios, karate dojos, you name it.
I think it is our turn, ladies. Manicures, movies, photography lessons, paddle-boarding, ropes course, cheese-making. Whatever Groupon offers, let’s just book it and call it a birthday party.
“Oh, there are so many possibilities. I can’t wait to get started!!”
– Eric Carle, A House for Hermit Crab