Sunday, October 24, 2010

Birthday by the numbers

My oldest turns six soon. The day before he turned one, we left South Dakota to drive to the East Coast so that we could PCS to Germany. Birthday number one for T? Sucked rotten eggs. Fortunately, he was one and could care less. But we cared.

Birthday number two. We were living in Germany, I really didn't know anyone yet with kids T's age. Two of my friends were visiting from North Carolina, but at that point the visit was getting a bit...stressful. The plan had been that they would spend the day in Trier and have dinner with us for T's birthday. They missed the train, so it was just R, T, me and more pizza and cake than we could possibly eat. I was miserable in Germany at this point, too, which just magnified all of it for me, so while T was just fine? Birthday number 2? Sucked rotten eggs.

Birthday number three. We were getting ready for R to deploy. T was just about to start in a preschool program with an amazing lady, but honestly? The airman we were sponsoring came over for dinner and cake, but was disappointed in T's reaction to what she brought him. Awkward. I had recently started graduate school and was soooo tired all the time. Birthday number three? Sucked rotten eggs.

Birthday number four. I've finally made some friends in Germany, we had recently moved off base into our awesome house, and we decided to fly back to the US for about 10 days right before T turned 4. We landed in NC, drove to Clarksville, Tn, then onto Tulsa, Ok, where we got back on a plane and flew back to Germany. We got home and T's birthday was the day after so we really didn't plan anything. However, T got four birthday celebrations in the space of two weeks, so this birthday? Rocked!

Birthday number five. We are prepping for our move back to the US. T is in an awesome preschool program at the elementary school on base, but when we asked him what he wanted for his birthday? He just wanted a bunch of balloons. And so that's what we did. A low key, family thing. But then again, that's what he was used to. I took cookies to school and they made a huge deal out of his birthday, so this birthday? Also rocked.

Birthday number six. Since last year, T has been talking about having a birthday party. We've been so excited to be in a place with options and choices that we were pretty excited about it too. However, T's been inviting everyone he knows, meets, and sometimes sees to his birthday party for the better part of six months (maybe longer). We'd love to be able to give him that, but there's just no way. So we told him - pick from place A, B, or C and tell us the five friends you want to invite. I was expecting a battle, but he choose Chuck E Cheese as the place and picked five kids from his kindergarten class.

And in one of those moments that makes a momma proud, he was worried about all the kids he couldn't invite. Because there were several from last years pre k class, several from this summer at the Y, and several from people I've been lucky enough to meet here that he really wanted to come (and us too, truth be told). But he chose the five and today we converged on Chuck E Cheese for birthday fun.

Let me just say this: this was the best birthday party I've EVER been to for a kid. It was organized, it was structured, our host was incredible. All the kids behaved so beautifully. And T had, hands down, the time of his life. All this and we didn't have to set up or clean up? I am now a bona fide Chuck E Cheese fan, and those were words I never thought I'd utter. I'd do this again in a heart beat.

I mean, really, is there anything that makes a parent happier than seeing their child in a state of bliss? Today I really don't think so. I'm so happy with how today went that I think I lost my snark (just temporarily, I'm sure).

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