My reaction was a mixture of panic — was I supposed to send something? Is there a flyer stuffed in my son’s backpack that he forgot to give me? Will he be shunned forever because I forgot to send cupcakes? Is he even having an Easter party? — and relief, because soon I will no longer have to contend with elementary-school class parties.
The incessant parties were fun in the kindergarten years — 100 Days of School! Dr. Seuss Day! Valentine’s! St. Patrick’s Day! Easter! Halloween! Thanksgiving! Christmas! — but after seeing two children through a combined 14 years of cupcakes and goodie bags, I’m ready for a break.
When my daughter was in elementary school — she being my first-born and both of us being girls — we baked scratch cupcakes for birthdays and Halloween, crafted lacy cards for Valentine’s Day, even made Christmas ornaments for all her classmates.
With my second child — him being a boy — things changed considerably. We did not bake cupcakes for his birthday; he didn’t want the extra attention.
I sent him to school with store-bought Valentines — just cards, no candy or goody bags, because have you seen the amount of candy that kids bring home from Valentine’s parties these days? It’s a diabetic coma wrapped up with a bow and a heart sticker. Nobody needs that much candy.
Besides, there is no way I can compete with the room moms of my son’s class. For this year’s Valentine’s party, they brought in a chocolate fountain.
When it comes to holiday celebrations, I tend to go under-board.
For Christmas, there are no elves on our shelves. (I still don’t get that. You want me to prank myself, then pretend that a creepy little doll did it?)
For Valentine’s Day, we exchange cards, and my husband will give me flowers and a box of chocolates as long as I remind him ahead of time.
For St. Patrick’s Day, we wear something green. No leprechauns come to the house and hide gold coins.
In years past, for school Easter parties, I sent my son to school with a dozen plastic Easter eggs (stuffed with hard candy only, no chocolate because it’s too messy). He would come home with a different dozen eggs, which I would send back to school with him the following year.
But sixth graders don’t hunt eggs. Now, for class parties, my son just gets to eat lots and lots and lots of sugar right before he comes home for the day.
Nonetheless, I will miss the elementary school class parties on some level. Because now I have to worry about middle-school dances and prom.
Contact Lisa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.