The boy turned eleven yesterday, and, because of ONLY CHILD! ONLY CHILD!, we celebrated Birthday Weekend, complete with four entire days of non-stop action and fun, which was all kept in check by Mama’s extensive list-making OCD.
(I actually don’t know whether you can have an exclamation point neighboring up with a comma, like I used up there, or not. This blog is not one that exemplifies punctuation perfection.)
(And also? I’m just lucky that I can string verbs and nouns together to form actual sentences after all the GO! GO! GO! and the FUN! FUN! FUN! we had this weekend, because this was the weekend which made Mama want to just lay down for a few seconds and breathe, and the bottle of wine that Heather stopped over with mid-weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered.)
(Because we had fun, fun, fun ’til my daddy took my T-Bird away. Which really isn’t true at all, because of FORD. And because the Jedi Family doesn’t actually drive Fords, because Hubs has put his foot down on that issue.)
Where was I?
Before the tangent?
On Friday night, we had a little pah-tay for the boy. And by little, I mean twenty-two kids and a bunch of fun parents and even a couple of nice neighbors.
Since the party was outdoors, on our lawn, we were lucky to dodge the Weather Bullet, which sent a massive thunderstorm PLUM AROUND US, which was a blessing shot down straight from heaven. As the skies darkened at 4:00 in the afternoon, while the wind (OH MY WORD! THE WIND!) gusted in, I envisioned enough children to officially form TWO full baseball teams, complete with bench warmers and a water boy, gathered in my family room, so I slugged back an Excedrin Migraine tablet, just in case.
And then the storm veered right (North? South? I don’t know; it was RIGHT! THE STORM WENT RIGHT!), and we ended up with blue skies and fluffy white clouds, and I stood on my front steps and simply shouted, “LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!”
Shouting from your front steps is an easy thing to do after you’ve eaten an Excedrin Migraine tablet laced with MUCH CAFFEINE.
The kids all showed up at 7:30, armed with enough squirt guns to make things look like the A-Team was about to fully engage in combat, and the battle was on.
And, even though you need a Dramamine IV drip to even LOOK AT this next snapshot, it is one of my favorite ones from the party. Every time I look at it, I want to yell, “Run, Boy! RUN!” And then I kind of want to stick my leg out and GENTLY TRIP the cute neighbor boy, so that my baby can get back to base.
Eli and Ben are so stinking cute, but they fought this squirt gun war like they were trained Navy SEALS. They stalked kids. They ambushed kids. They popped up from behind trees to attack kids. They made America proud.
We wanted to invite Enzo’s little brother, Jonah, to the party, too, so we put his name on the front of the invitation when we mailed it. Evelyn (the boys’ mama) called to say that all week long, Enzo had been talking about how excited he was to go to the boy’s party, and, every time he mentioned it, Jonah would hold up his index finger and announce, “And don’t forget! I’m going, also, because I was invited to the Big Boy Party, too!” And then Evelyn said that Enzo would roll his eyes and mutter something that sounded very much like the words, “Little brothers!”
Although he’s only five, Jonah held his own with those big boys. Being so much SHORTER made him the Primary Target (also known as Public Enemy Number One) most of the evening, but he shot back for all he was worth with his gun.
In this next snapshot, the boy was THIRSTY. And because boys can never do things the EASY WAY (like grabbing a juice box out of the cooler on the patio), he opened his mouth wide and COMMANDED Enzo to squirt him.
At some point in the war, Louden had taken command of a big rock. Numerous boys tried to fight him off of the rock, but he held his ground, and he never lost his footing. He OWNED that rock. And then (gasp!), the unthinkable happened. Poor Louden RAN OUT OF AMMUNITION! He called for a Time-Out, so that he could run to the garden hose for a refill. His request was denied. And STILL! That boy refused to give up the rock, so naturally he came under heavy artillery fire.
The filling station was the garden hose. We dubbed it THE SAFE ZONE. As long as you were in line for a refill, you couldn’t be shot down by enemy fire. And, since the area had started to…you know…FLOOD, we put Mam on duty. Mam maintained good control of Switzerland, and she made sure that everyone had the same Water Rights.
This is the picture that I’m going to publish in the newspaper on the cute neighbor boy’s sixteenth birthday. Oh, the blackmail. There’s nothing like an eleven-year-old boy showing his GUNS off for the camera!
When everyone was sufficiently soaked…when everyone had nineteen different battle stories to tell…when everyone was NEARLY exhausted with all the running, we put the squirt guns up, and we changed into dry clothes, and we played a few games in the yard that didn’t involve firepower and ambushes.
And then Hubs and Gabe hung a 600-thread-count, Egyptian cotton sheet on the side of the garage, as we got ready for an outdoor movie.
Kellen, who never-ever-not-at-all-NEVER wears a shirt with a collar wore one on Friday night. When I commented and told him that I absolutely MUST take a snapshot of him in it, just to prove that yes! Yes, Kellen wore a collard shirt outside of his yearly commission by his mama to wear one to the annual school Christmas program.
(As a side note, Kellen didn’t even wear a collard shirt to church on Good Friday. He came directly from church to our house, and when he was dropped off, I was all excited to see him, because I figured that he’d be dressed up! But no! He showed up in a typical, Kellen-style, baggy T-shirt, and his mom told me, “We compromised. He got to wear what he wanted to wear, IF he promised to sit very, very still in church and NOT fidget!”)
So this, people, is photographic evidence that Kellen ACTUALLY OWNS a shirt with a collar on it. Isn’t he cute?! He cringed when I pointed the camera at him and boldly announced, “MY MOTHER MADE ME WEAR THIS!!”
Yes, we had cute girls at the boy’s birthday party!
We attempted a group shot, when I THOUGHT that everyone had emerged from the house in their dry clothes. However, we later discovered that we were missing several SLOW-CLOTHES-CHANGERS who were still inside.
Amazingly enough, the boy, who gets dressed at a snail’s pace, actually made it outside in time to be in the snapshot.
Oh, Kellen! Seeing this made me happy, because this is how the boy looks after EVERY! SINGLE! MEAL! AND SNACK!
And then, with the squirt gun war and the games wrapped up, and with the cake eaten and the presents opened, we all snuggled down in our front yard to watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie on the side of our house.
Hubs and Gabe acted as our technical crew, because the two of them know SOME THINGS about wires.