Last year, when the husband suggested we host Oktoberfest while I was 9.5 months pregnant, I was less than enthused. But, he insisted he and a friend would take care of most of the details, and it turned out to be a great event. Lots of brats, lots of beer, lots of friends.
So when it was time to host Oktoberfest this year, I was fully on board. And since Viggo turned one a few weeks before, it was a good time to celebrate keeping this kid alive, well and happy for a WHOLE year.
We made 40 pounds of sausage, 20 of bratwurst and 20 of Polish. It was a group effort. My dad trimmed the meat and did a lot of grunting and supervising, as the husband and his friend labored away. And because we have such awesome friends, who go ALL out, they made custom beer caps and labels, and brewed kegs of beer for the occasion. And the rest of the gang brought side dishes, desserts and good cheer. We had a blast catching up, having our house terrorized by kids and consuming all the deliciousness.
Labels and bottle caps in honor of Viggo.
This guy goes ALL out. He actually built that beer dispenser behind him! And brewed all the beers for the party. AND wore that ridiculous outfit.
As always, I forget to take photos. So here's one our friends took, above, and my dad took, below.
And I did get a shot of some of the munchkins playing inside. Don't scratch my coffee table!
Oktoberfest made me realize that I've missed hosting parties this past year. Parenting has been tiring. I feel extremely fortunate that Viggo sleeps. He sleeps all night. He goes to sleep easily. He stays asleep. It's great. But, working all day and then rushing home to feed, bathe, and entertain a kid every day, has really taken a toll on my desire to host gatherings (also exercise, cook or leave the house). And it makes me sad because I miss spending quality time in the kitchen, where I'm not constantly saying, "Stop. Not there. That's not for babies!"
Viggo's first track suit is all the way from Texas.
Although I might not have practiced my hostess skills this past year, I did get lots of parenting practice. The last 12 months have been interesting and fun (and I think I already mentioned TIRING), while we adjusted our lifestyles, attitudes and emotions to raising a child. I've learned a lot about myself, my family and what being a good parent means to me.
And without getting too serious on this fun Oktoberfest post, I hope as I evolve as a parent and celebrate many more birthdays with my little boy, I can set aside my own expectations and raise Viggo without stipulations of what it means to be my son.
We waited nearly 10 years after getting married to have a kid. There's a lot of reasons for that, and one of the main ones is that I didn't want to ever make my child feel like they OWE me anything because of what I gave up for them or will gladly give up for them in the years to come. What I choose to provide for my child, I want to do it with a pure heart, without expectation of some sort of repayment. I don't want to be a debt collector. Parenting has been a humbling experience. And if anything, I OWE him so much for teaching me that.
My only hope for future Viggo is that he continues to be healthy, good-natured and sweet. I'm sure there's lot of other good and bad qualities he'll pick up along the way, but that's what it means to grow up. I hope he can make his own path in life, without feeling like he has to look back over his shoulder to please his parents. I’m sure this will not be an easy task, and the husband and I are bound to stumble along the way, but it’s a start.
Our happy little guy celebrating his big day at daycare with cupcakes.
Best buds. These two make me smile.
And here's our little family at Descanso Gardens this past weekend. One of our favorite hangouts.