The first princess in the Roger Dahl line after 85 years of waiting is Mary Joliat Dahl. She was born one year ago, on September 29th. The occasion demanded a celebration.
Mike and Kathryn live in a townhouse, and they wished to have a party for Mary’s birthday, so voila- we became the locale. Mind you, our pool is open, kids were invited, our deck is terraced, our house is mid sized- there were many reasons to deter a rational set of parents from using the Dahl yard.
No one was discouraged. No one dared to consider the possibility of rain or cold.
A theme was required, after all,I was Pinterest before it existed. I always favored neon as a design conceit, but my boys do not share this affinity. What they DO share is the notion of branding, and so Mike lobbed possibilities at Kathryn and me.
Themes were brought up. Mary go Round with a carnival theme was ditched because we don’t have space for kiddie rides; Mary had a Little Lamb will be saved for a later party at a petting zoo. Chicago Beary Mary…no. I will not see her with eye black. Ever. The basic pumpkin and hay bale was too ordinary.
Finally, Mike returned to his Frat Boy roots, and he landed upon Octoberfest. This morphed into Maryfest.
Appetizers: Pretzels and cheese, Reuben dip, Veggies (a concession to health)
The Menu: Brats, Beer, Root Beer, German potato salad, sauerkraut …and chicken, because kids don’t eat encased meat with onions and kraut. Not cooked on the grill, so as to avoid the infliction of burns. Dropped off in half pans, warmed by sterno. GREAT CHOICE.
Drinks: Octoberfest lager, Point Root Beer and wine, of course. No liebfraumilch- chardonnay and Cabernet. You can only torment a conceit so far…..Milk chugs for the little ones. Chocolate for the kids with cool parents.
Decor: Bavarian checks. Blue and white with splashes of sunflowers and mums. No lederhosen, no dirndl skirts, no blond braids…though it would have been fun to see Steve in lederhosen.
Mike and Kathryn helped prep the yard; if I ever find the junk I hid to disguise my half assed housekeeping, it will be miraculous. My son found a pruner, and he sheared my pine trees into compliance with his clothesline of Mary’s weekly photos. Steve had a stroke. I have Bonsai specimens now, but the pictures hung perfectly.
There was a moment when Mike told me I was “mailing it in” but I was too tired to engage.
We had a sunny day. Mary was ensconced in my walk-in closet to get her beauty sleep, and I was wearing clothing I foraged for in the Goodwill bag, just to escape my cleaning clothes. Not a good look.
My closet attaches to my bathroom, and I tried to tame my hair and apply make up. Mike was like a vulture shooing me away from Mary’s lair. I dropped a curling iron to wake her up, but the clatter had no effect. She managed to stay asleep until the first guests had arrived, and I am sure they all enjoyed my Petticoat Junction look.
As soon as the baby was released, I bolted to trade out my clothes. I guess I was too rushed to notice the baby monitor was sending black and white images of me in my undies to the unsuspecting guests in the family room. As we say in Octoberfest talk, Gut Gott!!!
Food, song, cake- we had it all. And we washed it down with age appropriate beverages.
It was a beautiful day for my beautiful Grand baby. She will never remember it, I will never forget it.
I cannot bring myself to remove the happy Octoberfest banners from my newly trimmed yard. They just look so…Mary.
Who knows? Another party could break out at any moment. After all, Mary’s new cousin, Jackson Dahl, is due on October 31.