Well, we had the boy's birthday laser tag party today. It went well, but not for lack of trying on fate's behalf. What do I mean? Well, let me rant for a moment.
My boy's birthday is July 4th, Independence Day, a national holiday and prime time for family vacations. So every year when we have his party, we have to contend with his friends often being out of town on vacation. I usually plan his party 3 weeks in advance (this year it was only 2 weeks)so as to give everyone time to check their plans and RSVP accordingly. I always warn J that there is a good chance that many people will not show, to not expect a big turnout.
With that said, I do everything in my power to get a correct count of whom is coming to the party. This year we did evites to many, some mailed invitations and a few hand delivered. There were 11 children invited. Two RSVP'd early that they'd be out of town. Fine. Several viewed the invite, but didn't give a response. A few checked "maybe" and that they would get back to me. On Friday, July 1st, I called the folks whose phone numbers I knew and who had yet to view the invitation to see if they were coming. By last night, we had 5 definites coming, three who never RSVP'd but had assured J they were coming and 1 maybe, with a possibility of 2 extras (siblings), which would have been great. Then this morning came around.
The maybe never confirmed her plans and a call to her home made me rule out her son and the 2 siblings.
I checked the evite one last time - one child who supposed to come, the one my son was most excited about, was not coming - he was going to be out of town. I had talked to the father of this child last Friday and had stressed how happy J would be if Missing boy would come, that the party was going to be small since so many were out of town. This parent has my email address, the evite address, my phone number and my regular address. This parent had to wait until last minute (sometime last night after 10pm) to respond to the evite with a no.
Then another parent called to say that her hubby had come home the night before with tickets to the ballgame and that they had the opportunity to meet Roger Clemens. Since both father and son are rabid baseball fans, I understood why they were canceling, but I was disappointed, especially since this same parent had had a party once where only 2 children showed up and it had hurt her son's feelings quite a bit. They promised to make it up by having a fun day together with the 2 boys later in the summer.
That left three definite kids coming, and that included the birthday boy. What would we do if no one else showed? How do you explain to your child that just because someone says they are coming that it doesn't mean they actually can come. It was breaking my heart this morning. I can't protect my son from everything, but I should be able to give him a birthday that he can enjoy. Luckily, 2 children (they are siblings) who did not RSVP were able to come, and several parents stayed so that the party at least seemed full. Plus the dads that came behaved like the 8 year olds, so laser tag was fun. I just wish people would RSVP by the date listed on the invite. Is that too much to ask for?