Birthday Invites, Yard Work and Running

My son’s 8th birthday is fast approaching, and you all know what that means: BIRTHDAY PARTY TIME!!! I put that all in caps and included exclamation points to appear very enthused and energized, while inside I am a kaleidoscope of emotions. I appreciate that he’s growing up, and I am so very happy that he’s a healthy, wonderful (most of the time) kid, yet I always start to get a little nutty right before I plan his birthday soiree. He never asks for much, my kid.  He doesn’t need some fancy bounce house or play gym. Nope, my kid just wants to invite his entire class to our 2000 square foot home, and it is always packed to the brim or kids are tumbling out of the house into our backyard. This year I managed to pursued him to pick another locale, due to the very temperamental weather we’ve been having (80 degrees one day, predicted snowfall the next) and because I just don’t want the added stress this year. We are going to a video game/miniature golf/lazer tag themed fun center, which he is very excited about, but this means his guest list had to be reduced, big time. I can’t afford to pay for all 18 classmates. He chose a handful of his closest friends, and I set to work on writing out the invites. That was the easy part. Now comes the hard part. I’m not allowed to have my son take those invites to school and give them to his friends in class. I’m also not allowed to ask for e-mail addresses of the classmates’ parents to e-mail invite them, due to privacy reasons. I understand the privacy concerns, and I also understand (to a degree) why the school isn’t cool with select invitations. They don’t want kids to feel left out. If my kid hands out invites to a few kids while others look on, wondering where their invite is, well there may be hurt feelings. I can tell you though that out of the 18 other students in that class, my kid has only been invited to a handful of birthday parties, which means many students had parties that my kid was not invited to. How did they get their invites out without my kid getting one? He isn’t left with hurt feelings. He doesn’t even care.

It feels a little strange, trying to track down these classmates after the final bell has rung for the day. I’m standing in a blur of movement and activity as a multitude of children come streaming out of the front entry doors, and I am dodging them yet eagerly looking for a familiar face to match to a name on an invitation. My kid managed to hand out two. On the way home, he asked a very logical question. “Mom, why can’t I just bring the invites to class with me tomorrow?” And he’s going to. I told him to hand those suckers out right after he’s released from class for the day. I told him he has to wait and NOT do it in class, but once he’s left the classroom and everyone is headed out of the building- to hand them out as best he can ninja-style and we will see what happens. If I get a phone call from his teacher, you know it didn’t go well. Abort the mission! Abort the mission!

Speaking of aborting a mission- I won’t be working in the yard today. That is all.

I went for a lovely run this morning, trying to get it all in before the expected snowfall. Nebraska truly is a fickle woman, let me tell you. As I ran down a steep street that most of us runners deem a killer hill, I came upon an older woman running up said hill with an obvious mission of her own in mind. She wasn’t going to stop, and she was going to get to the top! I wanted to high-five her as I passed, but I felt that would be a little odd considering the determined look on her face. She didn’t even notice me. I started to think about where I will be in 20 or so years, imagining me at her age. I hope to have that determination within me. I always hear how getting older means you “can’t do this” or “shouldn’t do that”, and I’m sure there’s some truth to it depending on what it is yet there SHE is. Maybe she’s a rarity, I don’t know and can’t say for sure. All I know is that if I’m told by a doctor I can’t run anymore, I’m going to find something else to do. I have to stay moving. I have to keep going, because I don’t want to become stagnant and stop living. Life is too precious (and has become more precious as the years go by) to throw in the proverbial towel.

Here’s what I put as my status on Facebook this morning, after passing her: While running this morning, I saw an older woman (I am guessing in her 50’s) running up Schneekloth as though her life depended on it. Two thoughts. 1. I want that to be me in 20 years. 2. In reality, our lives do depend on it. You don’t have to run. Find what you love, and keep moving/breathing/LIVING.


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