A Little Birthday Party

Have I mentioned that the 8th grade starts for us, in TWO WEEKS, MINUS ONE DAY?  The boy and I aren’t terribly excited about this.  I think it has to do with the fact that the boy will have to, once again, resort to an alarm clock waking him up at an unholy hour in the morning, and I’m going to be at home without the luxury of saying, “Could you take your little brother outside for a few minutes, while I fold this load of laundry?”

Oh.  And then I will be back in the gym, teaching PE, and informing Johnny that throwing our tennis shoes at Joey is not something that we actually DO in my class, while I remind Jane that UN-inviting Jill from her birthday party is not extending kindness toward others, instead of being at the park, with good friends and their kids and a cup of love from Starbucks, which is where I PREFER TO BE.

So… we’re just trying to soak up these next couple of weeks, and keep the good times rolling, before we’re back to PLEASE HURRY, BECAUSE YOUR BELL RINGS IN FIFTEEN MINUTES, AND I’D LIKE TO GET YOU TO SCHOOL ON TIME, WITH YOUR TEETH ACTUALLY BRUSHED.

(This is where Katie and Natalie and Ellen and Theresa all tell me, “Um… HOMESCHOOLING!  We start school in our pajamas, and brush our teeth over recess break.”  The thing is… the boy has no desire to be homeschooled, because he’s uber-social and needs forty-eleven children to talk to, all day long, and because his mama can no longer figure out ANY of the math equations he brings home, without a tall glass of wine beside her and the Google.)


We kept the good times rolling on the boy’s birthday, because… after a round of Birthday Golf in the morning… the boy had a little get-together that evening.  The thing about boys is that THEY’RE SIMPLE.

They are.

A pile of squirt guns, the garden hose, a Rubbermaid tub, and nine pizzas will make them feel as good as if they’d just won the lottery.

IMG_7417(Also?  Can we discuss the little potted tree up above there, in that picture?)

(I have two potted trees… one on each side of our front door, because symmetry soothes my OCD.  I’ve had them for four years, and they’ve thrived and been these little, lush trees that embodied good health and screamed, “THE LADY WHO LIVES HERE KNOWS HOW TO GARDEN!”  And then during the last week of July, those two potted trees, in an apparent suicide pact, BOTH up and turned rust-colored.  I tried every form of tree-CPR that I knew… extra water… extra vitamins… extra love… and they completely ignored my nursing care.  And then they died.  I’ve been meaning to take their beloved carcasses out of the pots and replace them with something less dramatic, like mums, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)

(I apologize if the carnage of dead trees in pots makes your stomach churn.  Perhaps this blog post should have come with a warning of DISTURBING IMAGES before you started.)

IMG_7420 IMG_7419 IMG_7421 My patio was completely destroyed with mud and muck and mayhem, but it was all in the name of good, wet fun.

Thing 2 joined right in, because our toddler THINKS he’s a teenager.  All of his best friends are teenage boys, and he can never quite understand why HE can’t play on the junior high soccer team, scribble in the Algebra textbook, or attend the 9:00 movie at the theater.  But… when one of the boys hands him a squirt gun, he’s good to go.  He’s a force to be reckoned with, and he’ll fight to the bloody death in the battle with all the big boys.

IMG_7462 IMG_7418 IMG_7425 IMG_7422 IMG_7423 IMG_7424The battle raged on outside for quite some time.  Ambushes happened in the front yard… and the backyard… and in the neighbor’s yard, because the fight wasn’t localized to just one piece of property.  Through it all, I tried to stay right on the patio with my camera, because it was just too dangerous to be anywhere else.

IMG_7420 IMG_7421 IMG_7427 IMG_7428 IMG_7430 IMG_7434 IMG_7432 IMG_7438 IMG_7442 IMG_7444 IMG_7449 IMG_7450 IMG_7451 IMG_7453And?

Can anyone else quote the movie, Date Night, with Michael Scott?  I’d call him by his real name, but he’ll always be Michael Scott, from The Office, to me.  I even forget that Steve Carell HAS a real name.

Hubs and I loved the scene in the movie where Phil and Claire Foster are on a date, and they get held up by some thugs in the alley behind the restaurant.  One of the bad guys points a gun at Phil, and Phil yells out, “OH, MY GOSH, NO!  HE TURNED IT SIDEWAYS!!  KILL SHOT!  THAT’S A KILL SHOT!!

I think that Ben might’ve had a kill shot going on last Friday night, because HE TURNED THE GUN SIDEWAYS!


IMG_7454 IMG_7457 IMG_7431 IMG_7459 IMG_7461 IMG_7465 IMG_7466 IMG_7470 IMG_7463 IMG_7471 IMG_7473 IMG_7474 IMG_7475 IMG_7476 IMG_7479 IMG_7478 IMG_7482 IMG_7483 IMG_7486 IMG_7489 IMG_7491 IMG_7490 IMG_7494 IMG_7495 IMG_7503 IMG_7504 IMG_7496 IMG_7498 IMG_7499 IMG_7500 IMG_7528 IMG_7531 IMG_7533

IMG_7510 IMG_7519 IMG_7514 IMG_7542 IMG_7521After all the teenage boys were soaking wet… and dripping water from their shirts, their shorts, their shoes and their hair…

… they all walked through my house, and left a better trail behind them than Hansel and Gretel could ever have hoped to do with mere bread crumbs.

I fed everyone pizza on the back deck, because pizza is a boy’s love language.

IMG_7547 IMG_7550 IMG_7544 IMG_7545 IMG_7546And then I filled up Thing 2’s water table, so that he and little Cousin H could have some playtime there.  It’s the least I could do, since I ended up hauling our toddler OUT OF the line of fire.

He may THINK he’s thirteen years old, but he’s short… and he gets mowed down when there’s a pack of big boys running zigzag patterns around him, even though he has the spirit of warfare inside his heart, and will fight to the bloody death with them all in a gunfight.

The water table was Mama’s compromise from removing him from the front lines of war.

IMG_7565 IMG_7567 IMG_7568 IMG_7569 IMG_7584 IMG_7587The boy ended up getting more presents on Friday night, because that’s what seems to happen at birthday parties.

IMG_7592 IMG_7594 IMG_7596 IMG_7598 IMG_7599 IMG_7600 IMG_7603 IMG_7606 IMG_7608 IMG_7617 IMG_7611And then… I would just like to point out how differently a junior high girls behaves in front of a camera than a junior high boys does.

This is Cousin L.  She’s sweet and beautiful, and when the camera comes out… she smiles her best Sunday grin.

IMG_7624In contrast, Enzo withholds his best Sunday grin, because he must strike a dramatic pose that looks like he’s just been shot by jungle people, in the neck with a poisonous dart.

IMG_7621The rest of the boys behave exactly the same way…

IMG_7618 IMG_7619 IMG_7623 IMG_7620 IMG_7622We ended up having chocolate birthday DONUTS at the boy’s party, because… well… he thinks a good donut trumps a cake any day of the week.

We also seemed to have an eating contest going on that involved boys hollering out, “I just ate six pieces of pizza!  I think I’m the winner,” while someone else yelled, “Nope!!  I ate seven pieces AND three donuts!!”

I should have sent them all home with Tums as party favors.

IMG_7575While the big boys were commanded to gather their artillery, which was scattered from one end of my yard to Egypt and back, Thing 2 sweet talked his uncle into playing cars on the deck for a bit.

IMG_7637 IMG_7636Afterward, I had one party guest ask me, “Is there any pizza left?  I ONLY got five pieces and two donuts.”

Yes.  Yes, we had some pizza left, because Mama understands how quickly the pizza slices disappear when they’re set before a pack of junior high boys.

I just couldn’t believe that there were still hunger pains after ONLY five slices of pepperoni pizza and two chocolate donuts.


And then… just like that… the boy’s little birthday party wrapped itself up, because moms and dads were picking boys up.

Afterward, the boy gave me a spontaneous hug and said, “Mom, thanks for all the golfing and the party.  This has been one of my best birthdays ever.”

I love that kid.

Y’all have a merry Tuesday night… and stay tuned.  I still have MORE pictures from MORE birthday festivities to come.  We’re the celebration that doesn’t know when to stop.

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