The boy celebrated his third birthday recently, leaving me to wonder where the time has gone.
One minute they're waking up in the middle of the night, hungry and with a full diaper. Three years later they're waking up in the middle of the night, hungry, with a full diaper.
|Yes! You're all invited. Cake. Drink boxes and pictures of|
Mickey Mouse all over the place. What could be better?
To commemorate this evolution, Mrs. Blackwell is putting together a great, big, ole party. We'll have about eight kids on hand, plus their parents and — presumably — one flask.
Mrs. Blackwell has booked us a playroom Saturday morning at the local children's museum, a favorite spot of the boy's. Since his birthday was mid-week, we decided to have a weekend party. After all, we wouldn't want any of these kids waking up late for work with a candy hangover.
And there will be sweets.
Cupcakes are on order. Juice boxes are being chilled. There's Mickey Mouse napkins, table cloths, balloons and decorations. There will even be little gift bags for the kids.
And all I've had to do is stand right the hell out of the way.
My level of engagement in these preparations has rarely risen beyond answering questions like "Do we need more Mickey Mouse napkins?" or "How many cupcakes will be enough?"
Answers: Yes and 75.
Not to fret dear reader, I'm not getting off the hook. Who do you think will be doing the heavy lifting (literally) to see this little soiree through to completion? That would be me.
Because I'm the guy, I'll be standing on a wobbly three-legged stool stretching to hang the Mickey Mouse birthday banner from the highest point possible.
I suppose it might be bad form to have my pregnant wife do this, or walk the three flights of stairs with a cupcake caddy and bags full decorations.
Regardless of my contributions or, lack thereof, Mrs. Blackwell is busting her buns with worry and labor to ensure that this whole ordeal will be a memorable one.
And it will be — but for whom?
Will the boy remember it? How about any of his buddies in attendance?
I don't remember my third birthday party (my parents say I had one but, given my dad's track record, it's just as likely that I sat on his lap watching the Leafs lose a playoff game).
Modern science and anecdotal evidence suggests that most kids don't form their first memories until well after their third birthday.
We're right on the line then, right?
|Pictured: daddy's drink box for later in the afternoon.|
Not a chance.
You see, Mrs. Blackwell has a memory that an elephant would be envious of and naturally, she remembers her third birthday — clearly. (Lest we get the impression that this woman is superhuman, a digression on Mrs. Blackwell's memory: it is unquestionably impressive but its eminence is occasionally put in perspective with mis-remembrances which are always the source of much lively discussion.)
But partly because she remembers her big day so clearly, Mrs. Blackwell must, must, must ensure that the boy's big day (one that could cast the die for all birthdays hence) is picture perfect.
If she gets but half the return on the emotion and time invested, this is going to be one great party.
And, if it doesn't turn out that way, I'm betting time will smooth out the edges and leave us with one great memory, proving conclusively that perception is always better than reality.