How does time fly by like this?
One minute you’re cooing over a baby cot in a crowded hospital room, the next, you’re planning a party for your oldest, a whole 9 years later.
Her last year of single digits. I dread to think how I’ll be when she hits 10! I know, I’m an emotional wreck. Haha.
As the years go on, and with each party we do, we exhaust an option of what to do next time around. Yes, I’m afraid I’m one of those mums who likes to mix it up a little. I try to make each years celebrations different to the previous years.
I suppose the good thing though is, that long gone are the days where you have to invite the entire class too! Whether your little one is friends with the other child or not.
In all honesty, I’d really love to just have a party at home for the girls, but with their birthdays being in months where the weather can be completely up and down, we’ve always erred on the safe side and chosen hired halls or other places, with inside or undercover areas. Also though, if they were at home, I’d really have to had to reign back the numbers, as the house just wouldn’t cope with a class full of crazed and excitable kids, all dosed up on Haribo!
So with this, this time Holly picked just eight of her best friends to help her celebrate her big day, which she chose to spend at Treerunners, flying through treetop canopies at a local forest ropes and climbing course.
It sounds easy enough, and I suppose it was, the only tricky thing was the logistics of the transportation of all the girls to get to the activity centre. But my friends are all fabulous, and I had lots of lovely offers of lifts to help. So with a little bit of car seat shuffling, we all made it in once piece and before we knew it, the girls were all harnessed up and being given their instructions as to what to do.
A few of the girls had done this type of thing previously, so had absolutely no fear or hesitation when it came to starting the actual course. Though a couple of the others were (rightly so!) a little more nervous and apprehensive. I was exactly the same when I did one a couple of years back, and I’m in my forties for god sake!
But they were all so very brave and headed up into the trees with barely a glance back at us.
Even Ella, my little six year old went merrily up along with all the bigger girls. She’s pretty good at giving most things a go, and she was absolutely brilliant this day too. Being a bit on the smaller side though, she did struggle with some of the more tricky bits, especially the part where you have to try and ease the safety clip along the wire runner, as she was just not tall enough to get the right angle. One of the poor men who worked at the centre had to go up I think about three times to give her a helping hand. Because other than that, as a parent on the forest floor below, you were pretty darned helpless to do anything, as no matter how many times you try and yell up to a six year old stuck in a tree, to ‘wiggle it’ or waggle it to the right’, it was just no use!
Holly had an absolute blast, she swung through the trees with such unthinking eagerness, complete with a beaming smile across her face the entire time.
The girls spent a good hour up in the trees, while below, we provided our adult ‘taxi driver’ friends with teas, coffees, biscuits and crisps.
And the one thing which we all agreed was just so wonderful to see was how each of the girls were so caring and helpful to each other. If one was struggling slightly, the cheering on and shouts of “you can do it” from their friends was just what was needed to give them confidence to continue. And by the end of the hour, each one of the girls was beaming with a real sense of accomplishment.
Then it was time for food.
The grand plan was for the girls to complete the course, and then to have a bbq in the woodland activity centre afterwards (this is an option at this particular company), as the actual seating area is all undercover and really rather pretty. But, with her birthday being in October, and with torrential rain just the week before, we opted to travel back to our house after the activity, and have a birthday tea there instead.
As it turned out, the sun came out and we probably could have had the tea there after all, but it was still wonderful as it was.
To be honest, planning for the food at home instead made it so much easier for the fact I could set up the table a day or so beforehand, and we didn’t have to lug countless bright orange Sainsbury’s shopper bags into a wood filled with sausages and burgers!
So the kids all tucked in ravenously to their home cooked birthday tea, as did the adults who’d helped us with the days planning and organisation, and then we all sang a big happy birthday to the birthday girl.
This year, I went with a rather easier option for a party bag gift, so each of the girls went home with a very cute little ‘cake in a mug’ set from a lovely company I found on Not On The High Street, called Craft & Crumb, They were far easier than sourcing a whole load of items myself!!
So all in all, the day was a complete success. And more importantly, Holly had an absolutely superb time celebrating with her friends!