Birthday Party

As my little dudes get older, I’m finding that birthday parties are becoming a lot less hassle, but a lot more worrying. I mean, when the little dudes were, well, little, they mostly had birthday parties at home. They were productions over which I and my wife, known to some as She Who Loves A Good Party, labored for weeks and, sometimes, months to make sure it was just right.

And, of course, by just right I mean that it was something the adults could enjoy while the little dudes completely ignored everything we’d set up and played off in the corner of the yard.

We probably should have expected this sort of thing considering how we managed the first birthday of all our little dudes. See, we figured that babies that young really couldn’t enjoy the party. Adults, however, could. So we decided to throw a keg party with actual keg.

What? Don’t you judge me. It was fun. I think.

No, I’m pretty sure it was fun. A couple of months after each party pictures started arriving in the mail in plain brown envelopes. I’m pretty sure it looked like we were having fun. Although the inclusion of a whip sort of cast that into doubt.

Anyway.

As the little dudes aged, we started planning the elaborate parties. At one point, I know we even rented a bouncy house and hired a clown who also made drawings of the kids. And, yes, in retrospect, I do understand that was going a little overboard. I think we’ve sort of calmed down.

The little dudes became not-so-little dudes and, when the two oldest hit their teens, they started rejecting the idea of parties completely. That was for little kids. They were grown up. At, say, 13 or so. They wanted to get a couple of their best friends together and head out for a night at the mall, play some games and hit a late movie (all paid for by Mom and Dad) and then head back to the house for a late-night sleepover and more movies. Now that was a party I could get behind.

The youngest little dude, rapidly approaching double digits, still likes to have parties, but not at home. That’s for little dudes and he’s a big dude. Now he wants to go places like laser tag, or bowling, or someplace like that where he and his buds can run around, yell and scream, and generally act like crazed monkeys without getting yelled at. Which is, you know, just about perfect.

I plan on enjoying the heck out of this birthday party, because I have the feeling that we won’t be getting many more.

— Richard

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