flipping summer upside down

23 Jul
turtles and scrunchies and themed-parties.
those were my favorite summers.
when it was perfectly okay to wear matching cotton outfits from kelly’s kids, and side-ponies were i hope all the rage.
is it strange to feel nostalgic chills when you pull your hair to one side of your head?
i do. here’s why:

we've always been a little backwards

the summer before second grade, ponytails weren’t the only thing getting flipped around. my sister, emily, and i are just two years apart – and at 7 and almost 5 – we were a hurricane of imaginary friends, beanie baby lands, and energy. i’ve come to believe that the events of that summer – specifically my favorite birthday party of all time – were just my sweet mother’s way of encouraging our craziness.

well it worked! here’s how i remember that day going down. remember being the key word there. i refuse to let my age-7 memories be diluted by asking how it really went down!

my brilliant mom awoke with a start, a month before her favorite daughter’s birthday.

“abby is turning seven!,” she exclaimed. “we must do something outlandish and over-the-top for her this year. i fear her astounding intelligence will be stunted by a ho-hum party and a clown with any sense would kidnap her and try to sell her smiles at a circus booth.”

so she set to planning. of course, there would have to be cake and friends, games and decorations, but it had to be different – set apart from all parties before and after, into eternity. it had to be . . . upside down.

and so was born the inaugural “inside-out, upside-down, backwards seventh birthday party” of yours truly.

“what the heck is that?” you might ask.

well, it included, among other things:

  • guests welcomed to the party with “goodbye yarm,” or “see ya later, eitak!”
  • eating the cake – first of course, and under the table
  • decorations hung upside down
  • everyone wearing their clothes inside out
  • pony tails on the top of the head – think pebbles from the flintstones
  • a scavenger hunt in reverse, and you had to walk backwards, of course!
  • lots of giggling as soon-to-be second graders attempted to say things backwards, walk on their hands, and generally, act-a-fool
  • waving hello to friends as they left the party, walking backwards, with smiles they couldn’t reverse if they wanted to

in the aftermath of this hooplah, the guests and the party-girl were all just as exhausted as we would have been after a trip to chuck-e-cheeze, the park, or just running around the house high on cake and ice cream, but there was something so special about celebrating imagination, innovation, and silliness with my little friends that i will never forget. i long for that kind of newness and craziness each summer – and i think it’s thanks to adventures like this one in my childhood.

in fact, i’m of the strong opinion that this party would still be fun today. and now that we all agree that my mom was, is, and always will be a brilliant host and party planner, can we also agree that i need to blow this picture up and paint it as a mural in my apartment? i just love those cheeks.

cheers to summer parties and super high side ponies. who wants to help me bring those back?

this post is inspired by a series my friend ashley is doing on her blog. to read the rest of her tributes to summer – head on over to the chatterbox! and visit her often – she’s stinkin’ hilarious.

One Response to “flipping summer upside down”

  1. little sis July 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    oh my gosh, just read the whole entry on chatterbox…i love the way you remember it, minus the “favorite” daughter part :)

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