It was one of the best parties I've EVER been to; as an adult, as a kid. In my life. It's partly just because I could never have one like that as a kid. And knowing how much Phoenix wanted this "perfect party". It definitely had something to do with the awesome people who came to celebrate with us and being able to get him the ONE present he really, really, really wanted didn't hurt either.
We got there fifteen minutes early, which was good because they were grossly busy. You know that kind of anxiety-inducing busy you see at some of the must-go-to birthday party joints? Yeah, that kind of busy. I told the gal up front we were there and she started getting our tables ready. We waited in the car, hyping the kids up and watching for family & friends. Jay's mom & step-dad didn't see us in the parking lot and went in ahead of us so we figured it was time to go in too. I took presents and cake to the table & Jay waited with Phoenix for his 'escort', -- GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER. I'm talking about my seven year old son's birthday party here -- a special procession for him headed by a giant balloon with his name on it that I'm pretty sure we left behind. Oops.
Jay's brother, Mike came with his wife, Darla, and their kids Dylan & Sydney and Jay's grandparents brought our 'cousin' Annie. She's five or six and more like a niece than a cousin but she's Jay's aunt's daughter, which makes her a cousin. Then we met our hostess, got tokens and RELEASED THE CHILDREN. We ordered pizza and soda for the grown folk. It's not as bad as it used to be and is better than some of the chains we've been known to frequent. Our friends Jeff & Angela brought Angela's son, Andrew and our friend Carrie came with her son Aiden, one of Phoenix's BEST friends. Monica brought baby Johnny and Carrie's little sister Jordan, who's seventeen. It was one big, happy family and I loved it.
|Party Time! Photo by Monica =)|
It was back out to the games and time for the part Jay & I were most scared of, all night -- the final bill came. She handed Jay a receipt he couldn't decipher and told him all she needed was x dollars. When he told me what the final amount was, I was SHOCKED. In a good way. It was less than I'd expected! We were now without a hostess, other than myself, so things went a little whack-ass for a minute. I soon realized it was all on me and I remembered the one thing every birthday has that we still hadn't done yet: PRESENTS.
I rounded everyone up and gathered all the cameras & Phoenix went nuts. He got Batman LEGOS, coloring books and crayons, clothes, a CAP GUN and CAPS (Thank you SO MUCH, Carrie!), an Avengers sword and shield, yo-yos, a Marvels poster and so much more. We saved the Big One for last and honestly, I think maybe we should have waited til we got home to let him open it b/c he wanted to play it right then and there. I don't know how he was surprised when he saw it was a Nintendo DSi and games when that's all he's been asking for since JULY but somehow, he was. I won't even lie and say I didn't get emotional throughout the night. I did. A lot. I kept myself together though and didn't actually cry or sob.
By this time, we were finishing our third hour of non-stop fun, the grand-folks had gone home and the tokens had finally run dry. Kids were getting tired. Parents were exhausted.
Everyone was happy.
We started to split up and go our own ways; the last of us looking real classy with our cars parked sideways in the lot, all our doors open as we said our final good-byes. It was wonderful and so. much. fun. We let Phoenix build his LEGOS when we got home so we could get everything else put away, tucked them both into bed and let out a huge sigh.
We did it. We pulled off one the best, most-memorable birthday parties ever. Yes, he's only seven and yes, there are many more to come but I know this one will be one he remembers.