My youngest, my baby, is turning 11 years old this month. That means middle school is just around the corner. #wheredoesthetimego
His birthday party is planned. This year he wanted to do laser tag. Sounds fun, right?
Over the years I’ve grown to resent the “birthday party competition” among parents. I can’t believe what parents are willing to spend on their kid’s parties. No judgment (okay, maybe a little), but I just can’t imagine spending $500 or more on a child’s birthday party! It’s bad enough that I’m forking over about half that much for this one. Call me cheap if you want, but it kills me every time. #toocheaptoparty
Since he’s turning 11, and most of his friends are already 11, I figured I’d be getting RSVP’s from the parents eager to drop their kids off for two hours. A mini vacation, right? The kids are going to be supervised in a closed arena, after all. So imagine my surprise when almost every parent is coming with their kid!
Now I would understand if these kids were NEW friends and I didn’t know the parents, but I do know them. Our kids have gone to school together for the past 5 years. The kids have been to each other’s houses to play. They’re good friends.
Don’t get me wrong, the parents are nice people and I understand wanting to socialize, but at what age do we let our kids go without us? Especially to something like a supervised birthday party? Am I the only one who thinks that 11 years old is old enough to go to a birthday party without mom or dad?
So now I have to rethink (and re-calculate) the birthday budget to include food and cake for adults too! And that gets costly. Kids are happy with pizza and cupcakes…but adults? Do you think they’ll be surprised when they get pizza and cupcakes too?
I know we always say that “things were different when I was a kid,” but we survived. Most of us even thrived. I remember I had a surprise birthday in 5th grade with about 8 girls, and we all lived though it. And that was GIRLS. No one got bullied, no one got abandoned, and we had fun WITHOUT our parents (well, my parents were there – it was at my house…this was pre-laser tag days when we were forced to play party games and eat cake).
Maybe I’m totally off base here. But I wonder how many parents will show up to the next birthday party, or the next, or the next…etc? At some point we have to trust that our kids will remember all we’ve taught them. Sometimes we have to let loose on the rope a little, or they will never learn to fly on their own.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Because according to the RSVP’s, there are only 2 other parents who feel the way I do.