• Aram Mitchell

popcorn with sprinkles

This past weekend I hosted my niece’s birthday party in the front yard at my house. Last year, at the same location on the same occasion, we had the afternoon scheduled full with an organized slate of activities and initiatives, complete with adult volunteers to ensure logistical success.

This year, when asked what sorts of things she wanted to do during her birthday party, Rosie responded with a confident shrug: “We’re fourth graders, we’ll figure it out.” There’s a photo that I took in the midst of the festivities that suggests she was correct.

In the photo: There is a makeshift picnic table holding cupcakes and a giant bowl of popcorn drizzled in white chocolate and sprinkles. A few people are lounging in lawn chairs around the bonfire. Behind them (at a safe distance from the fire) someone is mid-cartwheel. Two guests are swinging on the hammock up by the house. A mom grabs at a stray little brother (to keep him at a safe distance from the fire). Three girls are piled on to the inflatable couch (yes, inflatable couch) about to tumble over and roll down the slope by the flower garden. There are jump ropes and ring toss and marshmallows and capture the flag and a giant purple soccer ball and a blanket piled with presents.

They figured it out.

So too will you. Whatever you’re up to today, I invite you to sidle up to the challenges you face with confident nonchalance. Channel the child that you once were, look your adult worries in the face, and with a shrug and a smirk assure them: We’ll figure it out.

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