Good Enough.

My sweet Bennett turns six on Wednesday, and after a few years of him not requesting a birthday party (we celebrated in small family get-togethers and trips for his third. fourth, and fifth birthdays), he told me that he wanted a party this year.  Honestly, I was equal parts excited (I get to plan a party!!) and equal parts already exasperated (I have to plan a partyyyyyy…).  I love parties, and have been there and done the HUGE themed birthday parties with labeled snacks and matching favor bag labels and coordinating garlands draped all throughout the house (see here, here, here, here, here and here, and there’s still more).  But this time, I wanted to keep it simple.  Make it easier on myself without sacrificing the fun for Ben.  Maybe not the perfect party, but good enough.  And you know what I learned this year?  That the party that starts out good enough ends up being great.

And this kid couldn’t have had more fun.  I made his shirt at 6:45 Saturday morning, when I sat straight up in bed remembering that I had not made his birthday shirt yet!  Which was pretty much par for the course as far as this party went.  I sent out invitations via Facebook, I booked the local retro arcade for the venue not even two weeks prior to the date.  I picked up a cake, plates, and silverware from Walmart on Friday, we made candy treat bags Friday night, and we picked up balloons and pizza on the way to the arcade!  No rainbow paper chain garlands or themed printables, no matching party outfits for the big sisters (who would “NOT be caught dead in matching outfits anymore” anyway, by the way), no grand buffet of party foods.  We had pizza and cake.  Good enough.  Water and sugar-filled fruit drinks.  The kids played video games, the parents chased the kids and they sat and chatted. Good enough.  And it wasn’t just good enough.  It was GREAT.

We sang to Ben and cut the cake.  He opened presents, and I ran around taking pictures.  We chatted with family, we got to know new friends, shared inside jokes and good times with old friends, and it was warm and comfortable and fun and though it was thrown together at the last minute with minimal effort, it didn’t feel like it, and it didn’t matter anyway!!  Our birthday boy was having the time of his life, and must have thanked me for the “best day ever” 10 times in two hours.  He was playing with his sweet friends.  There was candy and cake and video games.  How could anything be less then amazing for an (almost) six year old?!

So thank you to our friends and family who came out and made a wonderful day for our special boy.  We all felt your love and friendship, and it means so much to us and to Ben.  And this little boy, who loves video games, and Star Wars, and Legos, and Batman, and Nerf guns, and just being a typical boy, said that his birthday party was “the best day he had ever had.”  And funny, I thought it was just good enough.

Let this be a lesson to us, mamas (and let me just tell you, I’m talking to myself here, just as much as anyone else).  We don’t have to be so extra that we sacrifice our sleep, our sanity, our energy striving to be the best of the best, the head of the class, the top of the heap, competing to be the perfect mom, woman, wife, person.  Sometimes good enough is JUST THAT.  And is all you need.  All our families need, and all our kids need. Too tired to fix dinner?  Make hot dogs. Cereal. Or “snack dinners” like we do sometimes.  Good enough.  Need to workout?  Walk your neighborhood.  Or do yoga for 15 minutes (8 minutes?) in your bedroom in your underwear via an app on your phone (true story). Good enough.  Need to throw a birthday party for your kid?  Invite their friends, have cake, pick up pizzas, include video games.  GOOD ENOUGH. 

Perfection is a mirage.  There is no such thing as a perfect mom.  But you know what?  Good enough moms are what make this world go round.  They feed their kids, they keep their families running, they might run a minute or two late in the carpool line, but they always come through in the clutch.  And it ends up that good enough moms are not just “good enough.”

They’re great.

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