My son celebrated his 9th birthday this week and had a small party with some of his closest pals. They learned some things, and so did I.
The Universe doesn’t revolve around the birthday boy. Yes, it rained in California at the end of June, when swimming had been planned to be a key element at the party. One boy had to leave early because of camp the next morning and another boy’s Grandma completely forgot the date of the party. It was fascinating to see the look on my son’s face when he heard why those friends weren’t there.
Movie sodas are ridiculously large. Saying, “Pace yourself,” of drinking those monstrosities during the movie wasn’t just said to the 5 boys to be a downer. If the kids hadn’t already used the restroom once, or even twice, during the movie, they squirmed uncomfortably by the end. The look on all 5 boys’ faces threatened an accident, even at their old ages of 8 & 9, but they all held their bladders admirably.
Don’t fight with older brother, but kiss up, when you want to be included. Our 7-year-old told me he was “so jealous” when his older brother and friends were unraveling their sleeping bags for bed later in the evening. The next morning, when he was invited to play Wii with the older boys, our younger son was more diplomatic than I’d ever seen him. “Sorry, go ahead,” he said of leaping ahead in the game. “Go ahead…take it” (of the life-giving mushroom). I’d never heard him be so giving.
What I learned:
Boys are as sweet as girls. I come from a family of four girls, where boys were viewed as otherworldly when we were kids. My sister and I tried to figure out their motives, but boys were foreign to us. But the birthday party boys quieted down when I hissed at them like my mom used to. They told corny jokes and sang the same goofy verses to the Happy Birthday song that my friends, sisters and I used to.
Little boys can be so articulate. When the same younger brother played Wii the morning after, one boy declared to our older son, the birthday boy, of him, “I get so frustrated that my little brother is better at this game than me. Don’t you?”