I am happy to have the party, I am happy to invite friends over to celebrate, I am happy to plan games and activities and food galore, I am happy to help my kid construct the goodie bag of his dreams. I just don't want to be tripping over one more thing that I have to remind my kid to pick up, which will be collecting dust in a corner in no time flat.
This policy is not without controversy, for my kids or for other parents. At Primo's double-digit birthday party, one parent came up to Curt, obviously not knowing who he was, and said, "Do you believe how awful these parents are, asking for no gifts?"
"Hi!" my husband replied, sticking out his hand. "I'm the birthday boy's dad. Nice to meet you."
Regardless of personal feeling, however, the policy has stood. Some years the kids have asked for their guests to bring something for a cause near and dear to their hearts. Secondo asked for food for our local food pantry, for example.
So this year, following his older brother's lead, Terzo decided to ask for cat and dog food for a local shelter.
His birthday was yesterday, but his party was almost two weeks ago due to scheduling difficulties, and I have been driving around 500 pounds (rough estimate) of dog and cat food in my trunk ever since then. I was starting to worry that warmer temperatures are going to heat up the food enough that I will never get the smell of Purina Dog Chow out of the back seats.
The problem was, what to do with the food? I thought I was saving myself a bit of hassle with no gifts but I didn't think it all the way through, that it would require me to do something WITH the food.
Luckily, an answer presented itself via Facebook. A shelter in Port Jervis NY was in desperate need. And a dear friend was willing to meet me halfway for a pet food exchange.
Yay!! All the food in kind Sheila's car AND as a huge bonus we both had enough time for lunch and catching up together. Hopefully my gas mileage will improve as a side benefit, not to mention finally having a place to put my groceries.