Things are different now

I remember walking with my mom through Albertson’s in west Wichita and wanting to throw my arms around her neck when she reluctantly nodded her head and smiled in response to my question of whether I could get TWO bags of chips for my birthday party celebrating my eighth year of life the next day. Moments before I’d only dared ask for an extra bag. The woman was cheap, people, and not into extraneous junk food. But there we were. I was going to have TWO bags of chips to feed my friends the next day and I was stoked.
That is my background in birthday parties. Invite some friends over, throw a birthday cake in front of them, maybe an extra bag of chips, and all was good in the world.
But these are the days of Pinterest. And so my already crafty and creative friends do not have to rely on their ingenuity alone to create fantastic birthday parties for their children. Now their creativity is fueled by pictures of parties thrown by mothers in the great yonder, and they push themselves to new levels of grandiosity for their children.
Leaving me and my kids with two bags of chips in our hands. “Hey guys, wanna party?”
All this brings me to this weekend, which is Little Missy’s birthday party. Little Missy, having attended these other-level parties of her friends--who are the children of my friends--mentioned how she wanted to step it up this year. With big hands she sat next to me in the car and said, “I just want it to be kind of… Whoa.”
When I told Hubby my ideas for Little Missy’s party--maybe having the girls make t-shirts before roller skating--he responded with, “What is this? In my day I got to have my friends over and have some cake and that was all I needed.” So I had to explain to my husband that he is old and things are different now.
This year Little Missy and I stepped it up. We purchased tablecloths that match the napkins that match the striped straws that match the striped bunting. Then we bought tank tops and painted those for the girls. And to top it off, we’re having a professional cake. No more of mom’s sad little cookie cakes.
She seems excited. Maybe the color-coordinated decorations, the roller skating and a little Happy Action Theater on the Kinect will make her party “kind of… Whoa.”
But just for good measure, I’ll throw in an extra bag of chips.

Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.