This is what happens when you decide to throw your daughter a birthday party based on a mermaid/ocean theme because she loves The Little Mermaid, Ariel is her jam, and you disappear into your Pinterest app and think yes, yes you need to buy the candy molds for sea shells because no ocean-themed party will be complete without seashell candy, handmade by you! Because your daughter will totally remember every little detail, and you will be totally calm and collected as you plan and put things together. You will not go overboard or become so obsessed with the handmade details that you fail to let the dog in as the wind picks up and she freaks out because she has sound and storm anxiety and oh God, where is the dog? Then instead of baking cupcakes you are driving around your neighborhood the night before your daughter's birthday searching for her because your daughter loves that dog more than anything and will be devastate and mad at you for losing her dog on the night before her birthday, how could you mom!? And you tearfully thank your husband when he goes to the grocery store and buys Finding Dory cupcakes that your daughter screams over when she sees them because that movie was SO GOOD and wow, thanks dad! You apologize to your insane, but loyal and loving and good with the kids, dog for ignoring her to bake cupcakes without adding the eggs because you were distracted and they didn't turn out anyway and give her the dense brick of a should-have-been cupcake to munch on as a reward for letting the nice man help her find her way home so she didn't become coyote food, before you dump the failed batch of sad cupcakes into the garbage can.
Reality surfaces. What have I become? Clarity! In the end, the look and details do not matter because SO MANY WONDERFUL friends and family showed up to support your baby girl as she turned three! Your daughter is blessed, you and your whole family is blessed, darnit! Focus on the important stuff: the love, family and friends who played and splashed and sang and ate cupcakes and made your little girl so, damned, happy, are what truly matter.
Thank you to everyone for making MAM's day special. Even if one person showed up with a shoelace, my daughter would have been over the moon to spend time playing with them. May you never lose your spark for life, and adventure my brave girl. Strong girls, strong world. Your bright light makes this world a better place and even though I go a little nuts with your stubborn nature, I am so proud to have a feisty and fierce daughter.
And, next year we are going to Peter Piper Pizza. OK? Ok.