Having a premature baby is a lot like hosting a party for the first time.
You know you’re going to be having a party, so you get everything ready that you think you will need. You know you’re going to have to get the venue as clean and tidy as possible ready for all the guests, and you sort of know what the party is going to be like because your friends have had parties before and you’ve also seen them happening on TV.
In the middle of all this preparation the doorbell rings. When you go to answer, you find its actually one of the guests that has shown up 6 hours earlier than you expected.
Of course you’re more than happy to see the guest, after all they were always invited, however their early arrival has completely thrown you off course. The food you were preparing isn’t ready yet, the house isn’t as clean as you would have liked, the playlist hasn’t started and it also happens that the guest that has arrived early has brought along their friend, who just so happens to be a party planner.
You have no choice but to invite them in and try to entertain as best you can whilst attempting to finish off all the other jobs you had intended to do before anyone arrived.
This is your first time hosting and all of the information you gathered on parties tells you that you should never leave guests on their own, but in this case you just have to.
Luckily, in your absence, the guest has the company of their party planning friend and she knows exactly what to do to make sure everything goes well in your absence. This makes you sad because this is your party and you were the one who was supposed to be making sure people had fun. So, it hurts to have to leave your friend but you know you have to do so in order for the rest of the party to be a success.
Slowly time passes minutes seem like hours and hours like weeks but with this passing of time you start to feel slightly more comfortable in the company of the early guest, even though the party planner is studying how you pour your drinks and keeps reminding you to wash your hands.
Eventually the rest of the guests begin to arrive and you are able to introduce the first guest to all of the new guests, music is playing, you can hear laughter and the party planner is nowhere to be seen. It feels great and you can finally relax…until, you over hear a couple in the corner talking about a great party they went to the week before. With entrance music. And canapés. And a seating plan.
And you start to feel a little sad that you didn’t get the chance to play the entrance music, and your canapés didn’t make it to the oven, and the seating plan wasn’t even considered.
You wander over to your first guest and dare to ask “Are you having fun?”
And they reply, with a genuine smile and say “Yeah, I’m actually having a really great time.”