Lately, we have been experiencing the birthday parties of my memory. Zachary was invited to a birthday party recently for a boy in his kindergarten class. Originally, I put off RSVP-ing because I dreaded the mass "invite-everyone in your class" parties that I knew were inevitably coming. But eventually, I sent our response, that we would be there. Holy cow.
Turns out that only a few children from his class were attending, and they were doing a "Jedi Training Academy" party. Right up Zach's alley. Zach and I headed over to the party at the designated time, unsure of what to expect. I was probably just as apprehensive, since I didn't REALLY know these parents. Was I supposed to drop Zach off? Stay? As we entered into the child's backyard, his mother greeted us, and invited me to stay. This family had gone all out. They had set up a huge obstacle course in their backyard for the "Jedi" to train on. Zachary immediately started playing with the kids and fit right in. I recognized more of the children from his class, than the parents. Surprising to me, every other parent there was... a father!
After running through the obstacle course to train and hone their skills, the boys then had a surprise. They were going in search of "evil"... the neighbor helping to run the party was pretty vague, and "the dads" and I were looking a little skeptical. Finally, they handed each kid a light up generic light-saber and let them run to the front yard 2 by 2 searching for "evil". The kids run off, and we hear screeching and laughing, screaming, and yelling. We head up to the front to find that the birthday boy's dad has dressed in a Darth Vader outfit, and wielding a light saber is fighting off 9 blood-thirsty 5 year olds. They are having the time of their life. Some of those boys weren't playing around! I heard some pretty solid whacks, but the laughing never stopped. When all the Jedi had finally melted onto the lawn in wheezing, giggling, puddles of exhaustion...and "evil" had been officially vanquished (mostly due to his bad shoulder...) it was cake time! AWESOME! Cake, presents, play, and DONE! We got to keep the light saber. Zach was thrilled.
Awww! Look how calm they all look!
If you look in the corner, you can see Darth Vader's legs...
surrounded by little piranhas... I mean boys!
I was left in awe at the bravery of those parents. I think there is an unspoken rule somewhere that you try to keep weapons and numbers of small boys down to less than a handful... but their bravery was commendable. We both had a blast.
Yesterday, I took the boys up to Sacramento for a friend's kids' birthday party. Both her children celebrate together since their birthdays are close. It was party heaven again for the boys. Playing with someone else's toys, riding someone else's big-wheel, cake, presents, pinata, jumping, laughing, aaaaaaannnnnddd scene! On the way home, both boys were asleep within minutes, Version 2.0 clutching, proudly, his baby-blue My Pretty Pony birthday balloon.
Party pooped. With a My Little Pony balloon.
I have memories of parties like this as a child. Both my own, and others. I hope that my children can keep these memories in their small heads, and remember the fun they had. What glorious, worry-free time it is, as a child.
I need to get me some more of that!