Birthday Party Rocks for Ten Year Old

I went to bed late last night.

How late?

Yesterday morning, I first typed the first sentence: “I went to late bed last night.”

Why did I think I had to transfer and edit one gigabyte of photos taken for my son’s birthday party?

Over 200 pictures from the cat holding a balloon that greeted party goers to the collapse Moon Walk from Ed’s Rentals.

Then as I was reading the Chicago Sun-Times and eating my oatmeal in a very late breakfast, I saw this article about how birthday parties have gotten more, shall I say, elaborate.

That is not the case in our family.

They have been elaborate for ten years.

So, I didn’t have to read the article.

Since we live within walking distance of Crystal Lake, we usually offer the option of going swimming in addition to any other activities, if they stick around long enough.

One year a convoy of us drove all the way to Glencoe for a party at The Grove, its nature center.

Last year it was just “Party!”

Chuck E. Cheese was enjoyed by the 9-year olds, who would soon find themselves “too big” to go there.

After our son selects a theme, my wife goes into action. In the past, the birthday parties have been the following:

  1. # 1
  2. Race Car
  3. Construction
  4. Train
  5. Bugs
  6. Jungle
  7. Ocean
  8. Lab/Germs
  9. Party!
  10. Cats

When he was six, he was really interested in fish, for instance. He would see some deep-sea fish on TV or a video and insist that I make him one.

Now, I’m not much of a craft Daddy, but I did figure out how to make three-dimensional fish out of paper. You should see my angler fish. Some are still dangling from the place they were hung.

This year, the theme was cats.

But, you’ve guessed that from the cookies decorated with cats already.

I guess that was in honor of our now one-year old cat, Keely of McHenry County Republican Cat Tax fame (infamy, if you were on the losing side).

After the kids started arriving, Keely retreated to his rabid bat hunting perch. He looks pretty dejected, doesn’t he?

I married an Italian.

She is totally organized.

I have my list of things to do at these birthday parties, but, once they start, I just go with the flow.

Without fear of being contradicted, I can tell you that Italian families always have more food than those attending can eat.

We order Italian beef, mostaccioli and chicken.

Last year or the year before I suggested pizza. I knew I would prefer it and I thought the kids might, too.

So, pizza came first–for the kids’ part of the party. By then, I was hungry, having not eaten since breakfast.

So were the kids, having jumped around in the Moon Walk to the point where medically alert bride brought out ice cooled wet wash clothes to cool their brows.

The main dishes arrived after the adults came.

And, as usual, there was more than enough.

As soon as everyone left—about nine—my son was working on the Star Wars Trade Federation Mobile Troop Transport. He finished it by 12:10 the day after.

And, before that he finished General Grievous’ Star Fighter.

As you can guess, my son told everyone that he wanted Star Wars Legos.

The next morning arrived.

The Moon Walk was deflated in the back yard.

When the truck from Ed’s Rentals arrived to pick up the Moon Walk, Keely cat leaped to the window sill of the bedroom.

He had been trained well to look out of those McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Collectors.

Fortunately, this was a false alarm.

But when facing a threat, it is well to stay in training.

And, no, the tee shirt is not mine.

I am not that brave.


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