Today is the grand birthday celebration of my Middlest. She is having three friends over for a “Cooking Party” where they will make the items for her birthday dinner and then spend lots of quality time being loud eight-year-olds. My part is to be the “hostess-with-the-mostest” and besides serving all manner of snacks and 100% juice beverages, I’ll be the instructor par excellence as we bring the menu from stovetop to table. Middlest picked all her favorite things (homemade macaroni and cheese, fruit salad, and molten lava cakes for dessert) and I’m pretty sure the whole gig will go swimmingly. Probably the only hitch to the whole get-along is me. On one hand, I’m really looking forward to making this event fun and giggle-filled for my daughter and her friends. And on the other hand I am cursing my ever having suggested this as an alternative to the very expensive version held at a nearby kids cooking class. And I curse myself because I know just how easily I can get overwhelmed and have no ability to enjoy any part of the experience. All because I become stressed out, overwhelmed, agitated, the list goes on.