Sometimes unexpected plans make for the best experiences. I planned to work really hard on my thesis this past weekend, but that didn’t happen very much.
One element of this small(er) city life that has really bowled us over is toddler birthday parties. So. Many. Really. How many parties can a 2 year old get invited to? It was ridiculous last year when we had been invited to 3 parties in one month, and 2 the next. I have a big rant stored up about kiddie parties, but that’s for another day. What struck me this past weekend, though, is that the birthday party, expectations and obligations aside, can actually turn out to be very neat occasions to celebrate friendships and companionships. How had a forgotten this basic fact in my snobby disdain for toddler parties?
Our neighbor, whose home we actually rented for a short 3 months before moving 2 houses over, had a baby who turned 2, and the celebratory gathering at Riverside Park was a blast. I got the chance to actually converse with our direct next-door neighbor, and to meet a wonderful family from Mexico, where the mom, it turns out, has worked and travelled with a number of my work colleagues (two degrees of separation in a small town? SO true.)
Other than the party, the three of us hung out on Friday, stopping in at The Marble Slab for a cool treat, my first one there, and the yogurt there is the best ever.
And we ended the weekend with a jaunt to Sun Peaks, where, like a typical small community, we ran into tons of people we knew (from the office, from parties, friends of friends), including 2 families with kids who were le Petit’s buddies. There was an Abba cover band, impromptu brunch on the street with produce from the local farmer’s market, friends running into friends, a visit to some friends’ condo up there, and all around terrific company.
I didn’t expect to meet so many people through our toddler (now little boy) and his friends, but that’s exactly what’s happened. It’s made me rethink birthday parties. Now we have friends, too. I’m grateful.