By the end of this week many of the crew members will be returning to their homes and back to normal life. One of those members took this photo to commemorate the time he spent on the boat. My boy looks rather serious and so young in this photo. It is good to see the people he is spending time with.
Saturday was a super busy one for us. On Friday I had fantasized that I had all day on Saturday to get ready for Ellie's small birthday celebration. I had forgotten about the brunch and gaming party at the school on Saturday morning. Larr, Ellie and I each won a door prize. Ellie and I donated our new games to the school where they are sure to get a lot of action. Larr won a great dice game; he will give it to Ethan in a few weeks.
Ethan says that he feels more at home and more like this group of people than he has felt in the other jobs that he has had since graduating. They dress in a similar manner, they like a lot of the same things he likes and they generally have fun together. He also experiences some conflict, but those are important lessons that are helping him mature and grow.
The rest of the day was a series of errors and things not happening as we had hoped they would. It was all rather frustrating for me and upsetting for Ellie. Still, we tried to make it right.
Ellie prefers small parties and so the only guest was Kohlton. We planned on having glow sticks, glowing balloons, a fun tent, a fun dinner, a fancy cake, snacks in a tray and a movie. We ended up with a variation on that theme.
We had combed through pictures on Pinterest for ideas. A friend of mine says that we should just ignore Pinterest, that so much of what is there is not real, that it has been photoshopped to look better and that planning via Pinterest is just setting yourself up for unhappiness. Ellie said something similar, but she was still hopeful. In some ways we should have known better.
Ellie wanted lighted balloons like above and so I searched several stores until I found the right LED light inserts. They lit up the balloons a little bit, but not like in the photo.
Ellie wanted a glow-in-the-dark design, but that did not pull through either. She had planned on a specially decorated ice cream cake similar to the one below, but changed her mind at the last minute and I did not manage to make any dessert. I didn't get the candles decorated, either. Honestly, I totally forgot about that project.
I had also expected to decorate. I ironed the bunting (the pointed flag stuff in my drawing.) Ellie and I hunted around for streamers in the right colors and gathered lots of balloons. In the end there were very few decorations. Like I said, the day ran into so many snags, that it was simply not humanly possible to achieve what I wanted to achieve.
I also made the tent. Making that was both fun and frustrating; it took a lot more effort to create than I had expected. In the end it was long enough, but too low for it to work as Ellie had imagined. She thought they would be able to sit up in it, but it will have to be modified in order for that to happen. The tent was nixed.
We did end making white pizza from scratch (pizza dough, alfredo sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese). And the snacks sort of worked out. I had hoped to use matching trays, but I could not find the ones we used when she was about 11. I made due with what we had on hand.
We also had a few presents. If you look closely, you can see the crown that I made. I don't think it fit how she had expected, but it did look good on her. The present that she was most excited about (a small speaker to hook up to her ipod, ipad or phone) did not function well and will have to be returned - it figures.
This is what she had picked for the crown. Mine was a slight variation on that idea.
Part of why this going well was so important to me was the fact that pretty soon she will not want me to throw a party for her; pretty soon she may not even live at home any more. I feel like the clock is ticking right next to my head, reminding me that my time with Ellie running out. She reminds me that it is not like she is leaving and never coming back. She reminds me that she is not even sure when she will move. Afterall, she does not graduate until next year. She offers these as words of comfort. I just have to find a way to find comfort within them.
Sunday was Larr's birthday and that party went off a bit better.