Almost nineteen years ago I birthed a child that would forever change my life. I was a young mother, having a child at a time when most of my friends were enjoying a carefree life away at college. It was not an easy decision, certainly not the popular decision, but I knew I had what was needed to be a good mother, and I don’t just mean love. I’m talking about the willingness to sacrifice and do without so she could have the life she deserved, a life where not only could I meet her needs, but also her wants. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my girls and am totally in love with that little boy, but there is something special about the oldest child, an indescribable bond you share, that lasts forever. That something also makes it extremely difficult to celebrate this birthday without her.
While I’m home in Baltimore moping, Ana is in New York celebrating what I know will be a memorable birthday. She hasn’t shared her plans with me, and that’s probably for the best, but knowing my child, it will be nothing less than epic. She can’t help it, she was raised that way. And that’s not to say every birthday is a big deal, but every birthday is a big deal. I believe in acknowledging milestones such as birthdays, because they aren’t promised. We acknowledge accomplishments, because hard work is not for the faint of heart. And then there are times we gather simply to remind ourselves we are family. So again, this first year without Ana home is different.
But as different as it might be, there was no way I could let this day pass us by without acknowledging it “our” way. Sure I could call, and send flowers or fruit, but that really would never be enough. It wouldn’t convey my excitement, and it certainly wouldn’t set the tone for her epic weekend. So I set out trying to figure a way in which I could do that, and then it hit me. I would send her a party in a box!
Cue the happy dance music!
Now in all honesty, I came up with this brilliant idea two days before her birthday. That gave me a whole day to buy whatever I planned on putting in the box and get it together so it could be sent overnight and actually arrive on her birthday. To Target We Go!
So what do you need for a Party in a Box? Glad You Asked! KJ & I put together the following list:
A few additional items I added I knew she’d like included perfume, socks, cereal bars, goldfish, and ramen noodles; a staple for any college student.
Now if it were up to either of the Kevin’s, the box would have looked like this
Thankfully it wasn’t up to either of them, but with so little time to put this together, I had to find my creative quickly. I decided to use double sided tape to attach the horns and hats inside the box.
That softened it a little, but the bottom of the box was still too bleh. Being the collector of little things that I am, I happened to have a towel and washcloth set handy, so I used that for the bottom of the box. If you look closely, you can see it. It was perfect. Not only did it eliminate that bland bottom, but it provided needed cushion and took up a little space. I then began arranging and ended up with this:
Lastly I blew up a few balloons, tossed them in and added her Birthday Banner.
Not bad for a last minute effort and it’s amazing how such a simple act made me feel a part of her celebration. I can’t wait for her to open it!
Have you sent care packages to a family member? Please share any photographs you have or tips!