My 10-year old son has actually been 10 for a few months. But today, we had a birthday party for him. He decided this year that he would rather delay his birthday observance with friends and take a special select few to Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin Dells, rather than have a multi-child birthday party in his actual birthday month. (that month is definitely NOT Noah’s Ark weather!)
So, he had his two friends, who are 11. I let the three boys go off and do their own thing, while my seven-year-old daughter and I did our own thing. Ironically, the daughter almost didn’t come. I thought in order to have room in the car for more friends, I would tell the daughter that this was the son’s special day, and sorry, this time she’d have to stay home. I planned out a playdate for her, and hubby was going to watch them.
Well, it turned out that the son didn’t care so much if little sister came along…he could empathize with the idea of being left out of such a fun day. So he wondered if there was a way we could bring her along. I think “officially” 11 year olds are supposed to sit in the back seat. My original plan was to sit three boys in the back seat of my Toyota Matrix. Sitting 2 boys and a car seat was going to be tight. Well, actually not, as it turns out. The son has a narrow posterior, and the less squirmy friend sat next to him. All was well.
The son got a bit of a sunburn, one friend got separated from the threesome, but all in all, they had a great time! The son was very pleased with his “birthday party.” Delayed gratification suited this little guy just fine!
Having the daughter along was just another anecdote to store in my heart to cherish. You love your children, as a parent. Even when they’re being little turds. Even when they’re boring you to tears with tedious blow-by-blow descriptions of their video games. And there’s plenty of ordinary moments of enjoyment of course, too. But sometimes there’s those special moments or occasions that make you sit up and pause and say, “Honey, I had a really great time with you today.” Today was one of those days. I get these with the son, too, but today it was with the daughter. We traipsed up those (endless!) stairs over and over again to ride our balanced favorite for fun and wait time: Slidewinders! (our favorite when you remove a LONG wait time from the consideration was Black Anaconda, a watercoaster. OOOH! It was SO fun. We rode that twice, wait or not, before the boys’ threesome made it on even once! nah-nah-nuh-nah-naaaaaaaaaah!) But Slidewinders were these water slides with curves and sudden dips, that you simply ride on your bottom…no tubes or rafts or mats. Less “gee-whiz” factor, I guess, and that kept the lines blessedly short. We got off our first ride, both of us grinning and giggling and exclaiming excitedly, “OOOH! That was fun! Let’s do it again!”
And so we did. Many times. It was a great day. No pictures in the park, cuz where am I going to put a camera? But it was indeed a great day.