My Son’s Father Threw Him a Birthday Party, and I was On the Guest List

How’s that title for clickbait? Eh? That’s the first time I’ve tried it. How did it go?

I read essays ALL.THE. TIME. that use gimmicks to get me to read them because I am a sucker and the gimmicks are working. They promote the material like something scandalous has happened or they’ve invented a new way to human, and really, it’s pretty basic, simple stuff. I always feel ripped off by the end of them. Case in point, I recently read an article where someone tried to posit that her travel companion is her “away from home wife” and they’re doing a polygamy kind of thing. But the more I read and understood, she was describing a non-romantic, non-sexual person she spends time with…someone we historically would have referred to as a “friend.” But now we fancy, so it has to be her “away from home wife.” K. You win. You got your dumb thoughts published nationally. Brava.

(Geez. Snark, much?) Anywho.

Here’s what actually happened: Robb planned and executed Henry’s entire sixth birthday party, from invitations through booking and paying for the event and receiving the RSVPs and forcing him to write thank-you notes. All of it. And I did NOTHING. And it was as great as it sounds! I showed up and watched the kids bounce around across the warehouse of trampolines and it was so fun and relaxing and I DID NOTHING. Robb built the cake. He made these great little goody bags. ┬áHe dealt with the kids’ parents (scary). I hate socializing with people I only have my kid in common with. It freaks me the fuck out. He handles it like a social ninja. I just lurked in the back, laughing with Henry and his awesome friends. AND DOING NOTHING.

I told him recently that I feel like over the last year, he stopped being lazy so I could start being lazy. That’s a gross exaggeration of what he didn’t do and what I did in our previous arrangement, but really, since he stopped working full-time, he’s done a bazillion times more work on the family/house/life stuff, and somehow over this year I’ve relinquished control and just sort of learned to DO NOTHING. I mean, there’s a balance we’re striking. His business is going well and he’s working part-time now, and I can’t reasonably be a bullshit of a spouse all the time, but I’ma read in the hammock sometimes now and not feel a lick of guilt. That’s new. I’ma be grateful he planned a birthday party without me and not fuss over every potentially neglected detail. We’re good. It’s all good enough. It’s all really good.

(It does occur to me, as a quick side note, that while I’m floored by his willingness and ability to plan and execute a social event like this, moms (and me, previously) do it all the time and I’m not sure that the dads always recognize enough what it took or are properly grateful. Let it be said and heard.)

Anyway. Thanks for the invite, dude. Great party. Invite me next year, too.

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