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fun in fours

E’s First Birthday Party

Almost three weeks have passed since the Boy turned one. Three weeks of postponing a party because of illness, because of Memorial Day, because of whatever. So the party is not just a year in the making; it’s a year and three crucial weeks in the making.

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We’d planned an outdoor party with games for the kids to correspond with Dzien Dziecka in Poland. A simple plan: potato sack race, water balloon toss, foot race, egg race, and other outdoor favorites starting around three in the afternoon. Afterward, an early dinner and cake.

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All outside. I mean, we have a dual-level deck, a carport (that actually used to be a screened patio), and a fairly abundant yard.

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It was a week of beautiful weather that we spent in school and at work. But this party shone in the near-future as a reward for all our time inside that we really wanted to be out. And then the updated forecast yesterday: good chance of scattered showers.

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By one this afternoon, the chance of showers turned into a certainty of a seemingly-extended downpour. It rained, and rained, and grew drearier and grayer.

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“This is just like our wedding,” I grumbled to K. We’d had a week of glorious weather until the morning of our August wedding, when it began drizzling, then raining, then drizzling, then spitting.

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“It’ll stop,” K reassured.

“No, it won’t. It will be like this all day,” I replied.

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I tend to be a pessimist in such situations. It’s not that I hope to be right; it’s simply that I try to expect the worst so I can be pleasantly surprised if anything brighter emerges.

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As it turned out, we were both right, both wrong.

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It stopped shortly after all the guests arrived.

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We made a quick plan: cake first, then outdoor games if the rain continues to slack.

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After cake, we rushed out, finished the games, and as the last shot flew toward the goal,

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as the last velcro-covered ball floated to the target, the drizzle returned and wen headed back inside.

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Lunch/dinner was a mix of smoked meats, salads, bread — fairly typical Polish fare. The kids picked, the adults ate.

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Meal completed and ice cream served, we moved to the living room for presents.

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It’s an ironic process for a one-year-old. There’s not much unwrapping he can do. And often the packaging is as entertaining as the toy itself. Yet it’s a birthday: part of the highlight is the unwrapping.

Such was the case today.

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The most thoughtful gift: a broom. J, who keeps E during the week, lives just up the street, and she came with her daughter, mother-and-law, and a broom.

“He just loves our broom, and I thought he’d like to have one his own size.”

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But there was no time to play with the broom — and no room, for he likes to swing and sway with it in a most dangerous way when the room is so crowded. Never mind — there was plenty to distract him.

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New toys. semi-new friends. (How much can a one-year-old remember of another toddler he hasn’t seen in ages?)

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The mess afterward was truly enormous. But that’s the sign of a good party, a good mess.

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The rain, though? It returned in full force shortly after we went inside and continued into the evening. The older children resorted to that old-fashioned play technique: creativity and imagination.

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The rain continued, the children cleaned up the mess, the guests returned home (with Nana and Papa staying longer to help with the clean-up), and K and I set about getting the kids in bed.

Not a bad first birthday party. Perhaps when he looks at these pictures, the Boy will remember something, if only the feeling of excitement.

2 Comments

  1. Great afternoon……Our Boy even proved he is growing into “toddlerhood” by his growing confidence in walking – or more like running!

  2. It looks like a perfect celebration of first Birthday! Too bad we could not make it this time.
    Emil! Slodkie Buziaki od T, C i cioci M.

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