Five years ago today, I got one of the two best gifts life has ever given me, my son Nathan.
I think he's had a really great birthday. Dave and I got up with him when he woke up at quarter to five and we all went downstairs together, letting Alex sleep in. Nathan got our traditional family breakfast of a miniature cake and fruit (this year it was bananas) delivered with a candle and birthday song. He got to see his presents from us, a toy Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli, a Toy Story comic book and a Playmobil Fire-Rescue boat which squirts water. The boat was the big hit. When you're five, anything that squirts water will beat a book.
He got measured against the growing wall and he's four and a half inches taller than last year.
He's been very excited and bouncy all day, singing to himself. As we drove around, he opened the window and told people on the sidewalk that it was his birthday and he was five.
We had his party at Cosmic Adventures. We've been members for years but this is the first time we've had a birthday party there. It was a lot of fun. Luckily a few extra parents stayed on, which helped with keeping track of the kids as they split up on the equipment. But we didn't have to hover, which was a nice change of pace. Although the kids needed the occasional bit of encouragement (or discouragement, depending), they didn't need an adult with them every step. They raced around for almost an hour before it was time to hit the party room.
They had an artist there to do "tattoos" with body-paint. Most of the kids ended up getting one (and several of the adults) but Nathan opted not to. I indulged with a little purple bear claw on my arm. The hostess for the party was certainly very enthusiastic and did her best to keep all the kids entertained and on task. I ended up managing the juice for the kids and dealing with the odd tantrum.
There was a really funny moment when the hostess asked the kids if they knew why the artist was there. She said the artist was there to eat up all the birthday cake. Nathan had been smiling sunnily but when he heard that, his brow lowered and his face firmed up. He glared daggers at the artist, who immediately burst out laughing. Once he realized it was a joke, Nathan laughed too but he still shot random glares at the artist throughout the party, especially if she moved anywhere near the cake.
I was curious to see how Nathan would manage presents. Last year, he wasn't very interested in opening his gifts. However, he seems to have gotten the idea. They sat him down in the corner and he ripped through the stack in less than ten minutes, exclaiming over each one.
I think everyone had a good time at the party. The kids all seemed to have fun but were ready to go home when their parents arrived. Nathan was pretty worn out on the ride home but perked up enough to want to play with some of his presents when he got home. Dave and I put together his Lego ambulance and a city-in-a-box set for him.
At night, we read Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday to You to finish off the day. All in all, it was a good day for us and a good birthday for him.
Happy Birthday, Nathan. I'm so very glad you're here.