One Big Party

I have twin boys. They just celebrated their 8th birthday, with a guest list that could quite literally rival a wedding.

That may sound absolutely insane to every other parent – and it is! – but somehow we make it work.

We have accepted that with two birthday boys the invitations are going to add up.  At most schools, there is a rule for invitations: that invitations distributed at school must go to every student in the class. We have considered the option of privately inviting one or two friends each, but my boys’ lists seem to change every hour. So, we send invitations to everyone.

We discovered in kindergarten that my boys actually have a birthday buddy. It didn’t take too much thought or discussion the next year to decide to join forces and host a party together. My fellow mom and I realized that we could both share the work of the party, and offer our friends the benefit of not having to choose between or be overwhelmed by a whole weekend of social obligations.  As for my family, we already go big, so really – what’s one more cake?

As the three boys entered second grade we were sad to find they were all in different classes. Though they are all where they belong, us moms still had a decision to make. Though their class lists don’t overlap, their friends still do. We ultimately decided to just go for broke and invite ALL the second grade, not to mention all our family and the kids’ friends from outside activities.

We watched as the confirmed guest list grew.

This could have been the most overwhelming weekend, but sharing a party actually made it magical. We each had someone to remind us of those little nagging tasks, like actually sending the invitations after they were printed, and another person to lean on to take on those other tasks we couldn’t get round to.  Finding a friend to share the workload with made a giant party manageable. Sure, we could have chosen a venue that handles all the details, but with the guest list we have, that could easily add up to a mortgage payment!

I rented the pavilion at the County Park; handled favors and chaos coordination while she took care of the food. We each got to do the part that suits us best, without the stress of the rest. Each of the birthday boys had his own theme, got his own table, his own cake, and his own birthday song all under one roof with the friends they all love.

Sharing the mental load that comes with birthday celebrations has been one of the best decisions either of us have made for ourselves and our kids. We both had the time to enjoy the party and visit with our guests. I got to play with my sons! The dads got to have that time too.

Having a friend to share the work is not the same as having a spouse share the load. Our husbands both took on their own share of the work and got our kids dressed and to the party while we set up. Daddy duty is a serious business, too.

The best part was seeing the fun and hearing the laughs.

Not everyone will have an exact birthdate buddy, but we will happily welcome anyone else who wants to join our extravaganza and grab the next table for their child. After all, the whole gang’s already here!

Ashley Sarran
Ashley is a native San Antonian and happy to call this beautiful city home. Ashley is the loving wife of David and is the mother twin boys Andrew and Jacob (2015) and spends most of her time supporting them and their activities through PTA and BSA (scouting). Her favorite hobbies are anything crafty and finding ways to make ideas reality. Ashley spent 10 years in laboratory research before becoming a mom and 5 years teaching crafting, sewing and quilting before the program was shut during the pandemic. Now she is the stay-at-home mom who is never home! Ashley's favorite thing about San Antonio is the big city amenities without the big city hustle. San Antonio is made up of so many great smaller diverse parts. Family favorite landmark is the Tower of the Americas and a trip on the river. Favorite restaurant depends on the mood. Sunday mornings usually include a trip to Ruthie's for tacos.