Disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with cake, but everything to do with the lovely people in our neighbourbood being typically lovely.
Our son's an August baby, which means that (un?)luckily for him, he's likely to be spending his birthday crammed into the backseat of our car somewhere in rural France for the foreseeable future. Him being so little, we decided we'd better have some kind of 4th birthday celebration for him with his buddies too - and mid-July is the perfect time for an outdoor party in the park right?
Wrong, so so very wrong. Thunder. Monsoon-like downpours. Umbrellas held shakily over food and buggies. Yet somehow, despite the weather's best attempts to ruin Little Man's big day, I'd still call it a success. We had delicious chicken, still warm potatoes, individual lemon cheesecakes and even managed to obliterate two birthday cakes.
But the one prime reason all went so well was the sheer positive force of the other parents, primarily mums, as is often the way with kids' get togethers.
These mums who laughed off us turning up 45 mins late to our own son's party, freshly irritable from multiple tantrums by the birthday boy.
Who instantly dived into helping us organise the food, give out drinks.
Who held our sleeping baby for over an hour so that we could run things with both hands.
Who ran off to source the birthday candles I'd managed to leave at home from a nearby shop.
Who stayed, in the rain, giggling and singing while we shared brollies, waiting out yet another shower under the trees.
And who somehow ensured that all the kids had a wonderful time and left with sticky smiles on their faces.
I'm sure this isn't an unfamiliar story at all, or even a particularly remarkable one, for anyone who has the good fortune to have helpful people in their lives. I thought it worth telling because while we hear plenty about all the horrifying, selfish, outlandish and sometimes plain irresponsible stuff other idiots get up to (*cough* Trump *cough*), I find it lifts my spirits to remember how decent most normal people are on an every day basis.
So thank you to all those incredibly generous, upbeat, helpful and supportive parents. We're so, so grateful. And may we always be in the right place at the right time to do the same thing for you.
Love you like cooked food.