Lately, The Boss likes to ask me where the party went. This line of questioning began over a week and a half ago at the end of our impromptu “Meet and Greet” barbecue for Topher as the guests began to trickle out the door.
At first she turned to the guests themselves. “Where are you going?” she’d ask.
“Home,” they’d say.
There were different answers, but none were deemed suitable. The Boss turned to me with each new departure, setting her eyes in a big, blue quiz on mine. “Where’d the party go, mama? Where’d the party go?”
I thought it was a good question. I could relate. It had been a fun party. There was food, there were friends, there were stories tossed around and there were balls thrown to the dog. The sun was high and warm, but not hot. The Boss got so much attention that she didn’t even notice the party wasn’t for her.
I thought it was a good metaphor, too. After the constant high of hope and expectation that came with pregnancy and childbirth, I was a bit nostalgic for the party, myself. Not that it was all fun and games—in fact, I was never really comfortable with the idea of living so deep inside myself for nine months. But it was different and intense and life-changing. After the baby was born, it was time to return to daily life. I don’t know quite what to do with that.
“Everyone at the party had to go home,” I told The Boss. “They had to leave so it would be just the four of us. So we could be a family.”
“Oh,” she said. She wasn’t any more satisfied in her acceptance of my answer than I was in giving it. But we let it go.
The question still pops up at random moments in that daily life we are slowly getting back into. Sometimes things are slow. Sometimes I am feeding her brother while she is thirsty. Where’d the party go, mom? So now we make plans. We talk balloons, hats and cake. We talk guest lists.
We are party planners.