We moved into our new house just a few weeks before Ruby’s birthday. While we are really happy in our new place, we desperately miss our balcony. It was as close to a yard as you can get in Beirut and the kids could spend hours outside playing after school. It also was the one thing that made having our kids’ birthday parties at home possible. Our house now is much too small for more than a friend or two, and that makes me really sad.
I love planning the kids’ parties – from the theme to the decorations to the food to the games, but it’s nearly impossible to find a venue in Beirut that will let you plan your own party. Most places come with food, animation, loud music and of course an insanely high price tag.
Ruby had been planning the theme for months and her one birthday wish was to have all her friends come to her party, so I was scrambling for options. Caleb and ABTS to the rescue! We were able to rent the court and even take advantage of the new catering department to help out with the food.
I thought since we had such a big space, why not throw caution to the wind and invite Ruby’s whole class to her Candyland party. We were happily surprised when most of the kids from her class came, even though it’s a bit of a drive to get there.
Ruby and I came up with lots of fun candy-themed games. Who can eat a long piece of licorice the fastest, running a race while holding a spoon with a marshmallow in your mouth, four corners, some parachute games, and a cake walk style dancing game. I thought that after a year of school, the kids would be more into the organized games. I was so wrong. It was total chaos. A small group participated, but for the most part it was like herding cats.
So I moved quickly to the food thinking we could eat, have cake and then the kids could have some time for free play on the playground.
But as soon as the cupcakes were eaten, almost everyone packed up and left! It sent me into a tailspin of doubt… was it boring? Were we not hospitable enough? Were the kids not having fun? Was it not fancy enough? Did I miss some cultural cues or rules or….? Or maybe it was just a long drive and people needed to head home. I honestly don’t know, but it was quite the let down.
Thankfully Ruby didn’t feel any of that, she was just thrilled to have all her friends at her party and so excited to be 4 years old!