Like it's honoree, this little Tiger party, conceived of and played out in 2010, came about due to some stubbornness, mostly on my part. Too stubborn to sit and stew with the kids on a less than balmy President's Day, and always eager to share this brand of misery with friends, I put the party on the calendar. A chronic procrastinator, I started thinking about what to do last Friday, bought supplies on Saturday, got weird flu like symptoms Saturday night and then worked like an elf on double overtime pay on Sunday to make ten copies of an internet wonder called the Crepe Paper Dragon. As the pictures below demonstrate, it was worth every hot glue gun burn and eye roll from my Hub:
Not visible in these pictures are the completely gracious, where's your cookie sheet, don't worry about it, I'll find it, friends. These folks make me feel like it is absolutely reasonable, maybe even admirable, to pull an all nighter for a paper craft.
After the party, I sat in my living room easy chair, homemade lo mein noodles on the side table next to me, and nursed my goobering, teething, soaked through two onesies and a denim dress, baby. From that vantage point, I could view the tidied remnants of the party through the French doors of the dining room. Those remnants included four oranges left behind after the others were sliced for lunch and luck; the red gold stamped fan that Dee and I made as a sample; and T's cute but forlorn felt tiger puppet whose barely affixed google eyes peered out from a whiskerless face. On top of the armoire in the hall, lay two crepe paper dragons, well loved by Dee and T, but barely recognizable after handling by someone other than a museum curator.
All in all, while stubbornness prompted this little shindig, it ended with some serious love. I'm feeling it now, the kind of validation adults seek out since the grownups of our childhoods stopped doling out field day ribbons. There have been many occasions in my life, and yours too, I imagine, where the hours you spent meticulously decorating the cake, or compiling and editing the anniversary photo album, or doing whatever else, went unnoticed or innocently forgotten simply because of the craziness of the day. Many times in my life, the take away thought and snarky comment later on the phone to my mom included "they didn't even appreciate my blah blah blah...."
This time, however, I was on the money - and my dear friends told me so - all while jostling babies, baking red dot almond cookies, picking up crumpled crepe paper in the front yard, and leading story time. And that makes all the difference, doesn't it? Validation, sweet validation, makes all that stuff that is usually so elusive - self confidence for one - part of us again for a little while.
For me, it gives me the freedom to be myself more often, like stay up most of the night to make a crazy craft because I like to do it, or to run out in the street with a pot lid and a spoon to make silly fireworks sounds for the kids' dragon parade. It feels good to let go, laugh, and to observe others delighting with you in a moment you created.
Yesterday, the delight of the day rolled over and around me like I was wrestling and cuddling with the kids on a wide expanse of super thick padded carpet, or at least on wet grass in a strange snowless winter. Take a look:
So...here's to many more moments of validation, love and friendship in 2010. Cheers to the tigers, dogs, pigs (that's me), and all the other animal signs among us. And a Happy New Year from my quarter Chinesers!