Working as an au pair for a family that sends their children to a private english-speaking school has introduced me to the world of the elite. Famous italian actors, soccer players and owners of large international companies send their children to the school. It is something very different than anything I am used to and today it came to my attention even further as I accompanied Bianca and Beatrice to a birthday party for one of these children from an “upper class” family.
Let me paint a picture for you: Twenty or more children pile on to a bus which takes the children from the school to the party. The party itself is situated on a lovely acreage in a fantastically expensive building that is being rented out by the family for the party of someone who is turning 5. The children are either accompanied by attentive nannies or distracted moms with freshly blow-dried hair and Burberry bags hanging from their arms. More children arrive only to be swept away into the party by the party clown who has also been hired to play games, dance and generally entertain the children for the next 3 hours. Food is everywhere. Caterers offer prosecco to the adults, bottled water to the children. The moms air-kiss each other while the nannies carry, hug and help their children with whatever they want. The children drop food on the ground and the tables are filled with half eaten pieces of cake, paninis and spilt Coca-Cola. A 3 year old runs around the room causing havoc for the party performers while the mom casually tries to get her child to listen to her and stop running…she doesn’t stop running. A 2 year old screams and screams for a 5th piece of cake. iPhone cameras flash as the birthday girl tares in to birthday present after birthday present after birthday present.
And basta. I have had enough!
To tell you the truth, I enjoy going to the birthday parties with my girls. It is nice to break up the day-to-day routine and the girls always have so much fun which is so nice to see. It is just this display of wealth and class that really gets me and often I don’t know what to think. I grew up having birthday parties where my mom was dressed up as the clown and we had hotdogs for lunch. Here they have caterers, party planners, housekeepers, drivers…you name it!
Interesting isn’t it? How different life is for some people who grow up more privileged than others. It’s like I’m on set of Gossip Girl and that I’m an outsider looking in to a life so foreign to my own. But you know what? There is not one thing about these parties with the special caterers, the special food, and the thousands of presents – not ONE thing – that makes me wish I grew up like that. My birthday parties with the home-made costumes, inexpensive food and simple games were amazing. The way I grew up was amazing! And I wouldn’t change that for anything.