Levi Turned Five

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

February 11, 2012

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Today, Levi had his fifth birthday party. Yesterday, it was really his birthday. Although, all day yesterday, Levi declared that he would not turn five until his party. And, today was his party.

I planned, since last year, to have a place-based party. That is, a place that isn’t our home. I looked at the community center, indoor castles, art clubs, jumping houses … and I settled on the bowling alley. It offered the least expensive option and is closest to our home. What was included? Pizza, soda, bumper lanes, table cloths, paper plates, napkins, and cups. The best part was it was set for an hour and not at our house.

The kids (and parents!) had a blast. About 11 kids showed up. What a change from my fifth birthday where I could only think of two friends from my new school to attend. We tried to go sledding, but as mine is also a February birthday (late), snow in Michigan is hit or miss, and there was only mud. Here, the kids were set for success. We put some names up, but it served to semi organize chaos. Occasionally, the kids paid attention to the names, but they were free to run, play, eat, drink. And they did all things.

As adults, we visited with each other in rotation – what would be expected of such a party. It was amazing to me how full the small space were allotted looked. We even have plans to do this again next year. Same place, but just get an extra lane.

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