"Keep it simple, sister!"
I paid good money to have a professor at university tell me this in Business 101. And I know this is particularly true when it comes to children. However, I had a good reminder of this SIMPLE truth at a birthday party yesterday.
It was a "princess party". Everyone had been instructed to dress up in costume for the affair - girls as princesses and boys as princes. Both of my sons had a grand time putting together their costumes. The anticipation of the event was half the fun.
My friend, "mother of the birthday princess", had planned a simple craft for the kids. She planned some games (like "Prince, Princess, Pauper", instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose"). The food was perfect for a mid-afternoon snack - cheese and crackers- and the menu was completed with a princess birthday cake. Throw in some balloons and you've got a kid-friendly birthday party.
The success of the party, however, came to light, as I was recapping the afternoon with my 5 year-old son. With glowing eyes, he talked about his costume, and how excited he was that the grandfather of the birthday girl had saluted him. (He was a prince after all!) This SIMPLE act obviously touched his heart.
Later at supper, we got the 2nd recap of the "event", as my son proceeded to describe the "Prince, Princess, Pauper" game, in great detail, to my husband. Again, the SIMPLE game somehow grabbed his attention with the amusing twist in names.
Finally, as I was tucking him into bed, my prince made the comment that he wished every day was as special as this was. As special as this was? It wasn't a "Martha Stewart" kind of special event. It was a fun, age-appropriate, not too long, not too fussy, SIMPLE kind of special event.
This "KISS" lesson has encouraged me to try and add more SIMPLE special events to our life. Maybe in February it'll be a "backwards day", and in March a "green day", etc. Of course, they can't come too often, or they won't be special anymore. But with a little bit of dress-up, a little bit of games, and a little bit of heart-felt communication, these SIMPLE events will make my children's lives just a little more special.