Rain or Shine


Is there a month in Maine more fickle than June? “Yes,” I can hear you saying, “remember the heat wave we had last February?” (I do — my family was sweltering on the slopes at Sugarloaf, an oxymoron if ever there was one.) “And what about the random chilly days we get every July and August?” (The inevitability of these is why I never pack away my sweaters.) I think we can all agree that every month here is aggravatingly unpredictable, but I maintain that June takes changeability to an extreme. And I have a barometer (of sorts) to back this up. For the past six years, I have thrown a birthday party for my older son during the second or third week of the month and I can report that half the time it has been roughly 48 degrees and rainy on the day of the event and the rest of the time we’ve had what Mainers like to call a scorchah. (I am not into astrology, but can’t help noticing how this weather pattern jibes with a Gemini’s supposed inconsistent personality.)

Refusing to acknowledge recent history, I planned a camping-themed party this year with lawn games and prizes for the winners (i.e., everyone), make-your-own trail mix, a cookout, cake featuring a tent scene, and marshmallow toasting — a storyline, in other words, that needed to take place outdoors. (If you’ve followed this blog for a bit, you know I get a little nutty about kids’ birthdays.)

Clockwise from top left: Water balloon tossing, prizes including mini whoopee cushions (sorry parents!), a “campsite” on a cake (thanks to Papery and Cakery for the idea), and make-your-own trail mix

Fortunately, the weather gods cooperated and the only last-minute change we had to make was a switch to water-based activities — it was 90 degrees! But, reflecting on the day, it occurred to me, as it does every year, that the most memorable moments were not the ones I planned. They happened when my shy son pulled up a towel to join his pals for an impromptu picnic on the grass, when we read the sweet messages on the cards they made for him, and when he texted my mother-in-law to thank her for coming: “We could never have a family without you.”

There was also this, which I’m pretty sure would have happened in any weather:

What’s your spring party strategy? I love hearing your feedback and ideas!

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