â€œWhen are you going to put your wings on?â€ 5-year-old Theo asked. â€œCan I show you something? What kind of puppets did you bring?â€
â€œDonâ€™t bother the fairy, she has a lot to do and sheâ€™s already late,â€ his mother intervened in a strained voice.
I was pumping air into heart-shaped balloons, my squeaky elbow straining. Colorful rubber bubbles drifted across the floor between a facing pair of painted cardboard turrets. Theo liked castles, his mother had said. I had pictured twenty-five kindergardeners puffing back and forth across the room, wafting balloons through the arched openings in these towers, dirigibles propelled by breath alone. During the trial run, I could not throw, much less blow, a single balloon through the arches, not even from two feet away.
Always test out party activity ideas you find on the Internet.
BEFORE you sell the client on them.
After the frenetic twelve-hour puppet show, the Dad exulted, â€œyou kept those kids mesmerized for over an hour!â€
â€œThe show was an hour long?â€ I remember babbling. I had slept less than that, the previous night.
(I keep telling myself, I am not 46, Iâ€™m 23 for the second time. The second time, it turns out, is much more exhausting.)
The Mom now referred to me as â€œour fairyâ€, and assured me that the entire disaster was in fact â€œan enormous success.â€
Catatonia was setting in. The mother approached me several times and patted me on the shoulder, a gesture that seemed to say, â€œParamedics are standing by.â€
I swooned on the couch with a glass of champagne in one hand and a slice of pizza dribbling reddish grease on my gauzy flowered dress. Occasionally a child, apple-cheeked from the exertion of whacking another child with a balloon sword, came to sit shyly beside me, curious. What sort of grownup makes a living dressed like Tinkerbell? Will she take me to go pee-pee? Repair my balloon doggie?
Yes, she will. But can she remember where she parked the car?