Sarah asked if we could celebrate her birthday "out" this year. And so, for the first time, we had a birthday party away from the house. We went to Bull City Craft, a new arts/craft store in Durham, and made felt monsters. It was nice not to have to think about what needed to be done beforehand, and instead, just show up. (Almost just show up - I couldn't help but play with the monster idea. Monster plates, monster napkins, and monster goody bags made me happy.)
When I chose the monsters, I was really excited about the idea and thought the kids would love it. The owner suggested against the craft, noting that our group might be too young for sewing. But I made it clear that we were a proficient bunch. (Hindsight -I had a few of Sarah's friends in mind, whom I knew could sew. I had blinders on for the rest of them.) I felt confident about my choice until the date grew closer, as I realized that even Sarah has limited patience with most sewing activities we've tried at home.
So - we showed up and we sewed. For an hour and twenty minutes - an hour longer than I've ever been able to get Sarah to focus on sewing. Parents who stayed for the party helped a lot, and despite my concerns about how the process might evolve, everyone was more than patient.
In the end, I think it worked out. Everyone was really happy with their monsters, and I think they were proud of what they had accomplished. (Or they were just really happy to be done with them. Not sure on that one.) Either way, I thought the monsters (and the kids and parents who made them) were great.