Holy crap, you guys. I just spent an hour and a half writing about Johanna's Very Minimal Birthday, but it's all wrong. The words are there, it's just that there's too many of them. Ironic, right?
Well, anyway. Johanna's ninth birthday was Friday the 13th, and, like last year, she asked if she could have a slumber party to mark the occasion. Also like last year, it did not occur to her to ask to invite more than three friends. This is when raising your kids with low expectations really comes in handy.
Unfortunately, the Nutcracker was taking place on Saturday, and a lot of her little friends were involved with that ordeal. So we could only field a team of two. That turned out to be rather lovely, though. They were all of similar creative personality, so instead of sitting around making cranberry and popcorn garlands like I'd planned, they spent a lot of time stomping around outside in the mud, on a Quest To Find the Queen's Crown.
But hey, we had cake, and homemade pizzas, and a movie before bedtime. We had the lights out at 10:30 p.m., but I have a feeling it was at least 11 p.m. before they settled down. And then they were up before dawn.
Her present was the party, so I asked that no one bring anything else. I just explained that we're trying to stress experiences over stuff, and no one seemed to think that was too weird. It's all in the spin, I guess. I always feel a little rude for assuming that people are automatically going to bring presents (thanks for the complex, Miss Manners!), but I'm not leaving life lessons to chance.
Aside from the party, we gave her a set of books she'd been wanting, and were prepared to go to Walmart (ugh) to let her pick out a Lego set, except our Walmart had a terrible Lego selection, so she asked if she could go with Plan B. Plan B ended up being a Monster High Password Journal, which she has been wanting for a couple of years now but I've been putting off because Password Journals do not typically get great reviews online. But she is so happy.
The end. I have no conclusion, except to wonder if this is perhaps Johanna's new birthday tradition. And whether it will ever occur to her to ask for more than three guests. :)
P.S. I probably should have mentioned that birthdays have always been pretty minimal in our household, mostly because I am mentally unable to handle even the whisper of a thought of throwing some kind of birthday bash for 30. I've done those kind of parties for very special occasions (baptisms, First Communions, Confirmation... does Thanksgiving count?) and it's exhausting. Anyway, so that's why Johanna doesn't bat an eye at the thought of a no-gift birthday slumber party. Because just the slumber party is a step up from what she usually gets. Apparently we were minimalists before we were minimalists...