Michaela Merz

My youngest was 10 years old

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661248_web_r_by_helene-souza_pixelio-deMy youngest was 10 years old. Then one notices how fast time passes. I feel as if it was only yesterday when I brought him home the first time.

Now he has wished for a larger children’s birthday party. The list of the children he wanted to invite grew longer and longer and finished up with 25. Despite the help I knew I could call on, a group of 25 under-10s seemed to be a heavy responsibility and I negotiated him down to 10 children.



The invitations were sent out and I was hoping for good weather. It was a golden September. Warm, sunny and even three degrees above the long-term average. But on the very Sunday that the party was to be held, a fall in temperature and rain were forecast. So I sent all the invited guests an e-mail that they should come warmly packed and watertight and they could all be collected at 3.30pm.

We got up very early, made the dough for the snake bread, packed sausages, beakers, plates and whatever else one needs and carted it up the hill to the fire pit. We also had to take our own wood. Laden like mules, we reached the place after half an hour. We prepared the sticks, made everything ready – and that in the rain.

Back at home we had cleared out the garage and set out benches and tables, just in case the weather outside brought us more water than we could bear.

At 11.00 am everyone was already there. The parents had left and to start I told a story about the dwarf, Adamito, who lives in the forest and was expelled from the dwarf community by the evil dwarf king. Now that the weather was so bad we had to build him a house. We split up into two groups and marched off into the forest. The children built dwarf huts, they grilled snake bread and marshmallows. We played games on the wet, slushy grass and without exception we became quite dirty. Lisa had stuck a gooey marshmallow into her long, black hair. Damian had ripped a hole in his trousers and Paul had cut his hand on sharp stone. Oh, and by the way it had stopped raining.

We tidied up and went on a treasure hunt. The treasure was found and divided fairly among everyone. Back at home in the garage the candles were lit on the cake and scarcely had everyone cried “Happy birthday” the first mother was already at the door. It had passed so quickly that I had the feeling we had only just started.

All the children had bright red cheeks from all the walking, running, the cold air and the rain. We stank of smoke and most of our clothing was clotted with dried dirt. But everyone was happy. Time for the group photo and the party was over.

I wonder what my no longer so young son will dream up for his next birthday. I assume that soon my help will no longer be needed.

If you are looking for an organiser for a children’s birthday party, let me know. I have quite a good reference and we’ll certainly be able to agree on the price!

Image source: Helene Souza / pixelio.de

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