Tonight, I am happy. Unreasonably happy, perhaps. I'm not entirely sure why, other than having pulled off a successful birthday party for B and an evening BBQ with dear friends. Apparently, I love entertaining, and when things go well it fills me with contentment.
First, the birthday party. B turns four on Wednesday, and I have always tried to keep her birthday parties low-key. This is the third year without her Daddy, and I guess I've gotten used to him not being around. The first year, with him, was family. The second year, raw without him, a very close friend brought cupcakes and her family and carried me through the ordeal. The third year, I had a little more resilience but still asked our wonderful nanny to plan and purchase for the event. She brilliantly came up with a beach theme, and we had a wading pool and shells and visors and beach balls. And 3 friends, since B was turning 3.
This year, I was able to carry it on my own. We ended up inviting 5 friends even though 4 was the limit, because I really wanted to include B's best friend from preschool along with B's closest friends (really, MY closest friends!) from two of my moms' groups. We are fortunate enough to have a nice pool in the back yard, so I hired the daughter of a good friend, a certified life guard, and the party was a smashing success. What's not to enjoy about warm sun, a cool pool, pizza, and cupcakes?
Of course, the day was not without its challenges. B woke up complaining of a tummy ache, and after consuming half an English muffin and listening to a story, proceeded to lose the muffin on the hall carpet. Then she lay down and fell asleep. What to do? Cancel the party and attempt to reschedule? I called several of the invited guests, and got wonderful, thoughtful advice. I cried a little, too, thinking that if T were here, I would have someone to share the decision-making process with. In the end, B woke up from her short morning nap as chipper as a sandpiper, and off we went. Must have been something she ate, because she had no trouble enjoying her friends and the pool and two cupcakes.
She had a late nap by the time the last guests left (helping me clean up first -- what wonderful friends!). Then we zipped to the store for some fresh Alaskan salmon, and I BBQed salmon, sliced sweet potatoes and asparagus for the friends who introduced me to T. A warm evening on the patio, good food and company, wine and ice cream, and I'm overflowing with happy feelings. I made it through another milestone event unscathed, perhaps even with joy, and I sit here at my desk looking out the window at the half moon and counting my blessings.