It was Markus’s birthday last Thursday. I convinced him to save his birthday money in the bank instead of asking for a gift he would tire of in two weeks or two days. He agreed. Still, he asked me if he could invite his friends over. He was very insistent.
“How many friends are you thinking of inviting?” I asked.
“Three or four,” he said.
Manageable. “OK, we’ll have a simple party on Saturday,” I said. We agreed on the menu – pizza, ice cream, chips, pop, cake, sausages lightly fried in maple syrup and ice cream. As simple as it could get. I made invitation cards on the computer. My friend Esther baked the cake and decorated it nicely like a soccer field with 10 players.
Up to the last minute, Markus was trying to negotiate with me if I could take him and his friends somewhere, like the bowling lanes. He and Gabriel had been thinking it would be very boring just to stay home and play old Nintendo games.
“Boring is what you make it,” I said. “It’s up to you to make it fun or boring. It’s all in your head.” I did not want to spend any more than my budget. Besides, I could only fit four passengers in the car.
I am not a party person. I don’t have the knack for setting up fancy arrangements or thinking of motifs or folding napkins. But I decided to hang multi-coloured buntings I found among our Christmas decors, and I made sure the living and dining rooms were cleaned and vacuumed for our little guests.
At three o’clock this afternoon, Markus’s three friends came one by one. Within a few minutes, they were running around the house, up and down the stairs. Was I glad there were only three! Fortunately, they settled down in front of the TV when Markus set up the Nintendo.
Before they got glued to the TV, I called them around the table. I said a prayer of thanksgiving for Markus and prayed God’s blessings on him and his young friends, thanked God for the food, then everyone started eating. No one cared that the table was not beautifully set up, or that the two extra large pizzas Gino bought from Vancouver had gotten cold. They were busy talking, eating and playing. No one noticed anything else.
Boy, were the kids pumped up. They were obviously having fun and not bored at all. Markus opened his gifts and scattered everthing on the floor. When his friends left past 5 pm, it was like a tornado hit the living room.
“See, Mom,” Gabriel said. “You shouldn’t have spent time cleaning and vacuuming. It’s more messy now.” Crumbs were all over the floor.
“Well, it’s party,” I said. “I will just vacuum again.”
Markus was very pleased. He gave me a big hug after his friends left.
Happy birthday, Markus!!! It was fun, wasn’t it?