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A big birthday for Big Guy — and it’s not even his

Submitted by on Monday, 2 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published April 3, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

Big Guy’s been excitick since he saw the DayGlo orange envelope clipped to his sign-in sheet at school last week. Even not-quite-5-year-olds can figure out that bad news never comes wrapped in DayGlo orange, so he couldn’t wait to rip it open.

“It’s a pirate!” he gasped as he gazed at the card inside. “What does it say? What does it say?”

“It says C is having a birthday party next Saturday, and you’re invited,” I told him.

He flopped to the floor, eyes rolling, tongue lulling in what’s become his latest “I’m so excitick I can’t stand it” pose.

“A birthday party! C’s birthday party! WOW!”

For Big Guy, the significance of the event is far bigger than a celebration for a friend reaching legal kindergarten age. It also will mark an important social debut – his first non-relative birthday party.

And for me, it’s another chance to relive vicariously in the land of unbridled joy.

Birthdays? Several years of late, I’ve just about forgotten my own. Parties? Not that I’m anti-social, but there are days when an extra hour’s sleep would be a more enjoyable celebration.

When you’re not quite 5, though, a friend’s birthday party is a Big Thing.

It’s not as if Big Guy’s been party-deprived. With an assortment of cousins and other close family, he’s been a regular party animal since before he was eating solid food. He’d heard “Happy Birthday” often enough that he serenaded himself when he turned 2. And he knows – enjoys, even – the gift- and card-buying drill.

But as his bad luck would have it, every time an invitation has arrived for a friend’s party, it’s been for a weekend when we’ve had irrevocable plans, usually with plane tickets involved.

This time, though, he’ll reach the promised land – pizza, cake, piñata and his best buds.

“I think I need to get C a Batman for his present. Or maybe Joker. He likes Joker. But I can’t tell him, right? Because presents are supposed to be a surprise.”

He barely paused for breath, the words zooming faster than the Bat Mobile.

“And I need to get him a card. OH! I can make him a card! Are you sure the party’s next week? Why can’t it be tomorrow?”

I bet C’s mommy was wishing the same thing this time five years ago.

“Can you read me the pirate again? What does it say?”

I made it as far as the phone number before he relaunched.

OH! We know C’s phone number now. Can I call him? I have to talk to him.”

Never mind that they’d been apart only a few hours. I see unlimited minutes in this kid’s cell phone future.

“It says his address? But how will we find it – there’s no map. Can we get a map on the computer?”

Yep. This generation will put Rand McNally out of business.

Despite Big Guy’s near-constant nagging, we haven’t bought the present yet, though he did make C a SpongeBob card over the weekend. I was thrilled that I accurately identified the artwork. It would have been bad if I’d called his creation SpongeBob when he was aiming for Batman.

We’re at T-minus two days now, and I’m almost as excitick as Big Guy. Pizza, cake, piñata and a boy’s best buds. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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