Man, my son turned five last week. He of course needed to have a party. He’s not in school yet, so we invited friends and family over for a late afternoon session. We had loads of food and drink. We danced, laughed and played some football on a water soaked lawn with knee high grass in some parts.
The gathering began in the afternoon, thankfully on a Saturday, with snacks and games for the kids. 11 kids and 11 adults can cause some noise in a small rural neighbourhood. We had made plenty of food, especially home-made lasagna, and some other quick snack food; chicken nuggets, fries and sausages- traditional kids food for most birthday parties. In fairness, finger food is quick to make and it doesn’t require any culinary skills to serve either. Jamie Oliver would probably start a new food revolution if he knew that we were serving kids snack food.
Within the first hour, all kids were running around laughing and playing, creating a fantastic atmosphere. There’s nothing better than listening to kids having fun … well, you could join in, but then they would just start laughing at you as you attempt to crawl through some small cylinder tube or jump over puddles in socks. So, while the kids were having a blast, the adults started to warm up too, getting into the party mood. This was helped with a few bottles of wine and beer, and “American Anthems” that streamed from the iMac / iTunes. We actually had a nice gathering.
I forgot to mention that I made my famous welcome drink, for adults only, which with just half a glass can make the biggest man sing like a choir boy. You cannot beat the refreshing taste of Caipirinha that is made from 700ml rom, ice, lime and sugar. The aftermath of the lethal mixture can kick-start any funeral. My mother-in-law loves this drink, being from Central America, so we had a few glasses and shared some with the other guests too.
Later on, my wife forced everybody into the garden to play football. It was time for the battle of the clans. Each family was to compete against another family. Now, most of men and kids enjoy kicking the ball around most days, but it has to be in the right conditions. It had rained solid for the past two days and I had neglected my garden by not mowing the lawn. As a result, I had lost my “Best Garden in the neighbourhood” award and the grass was now knee high. Within a few seconds, all shoes in action were soaked to the core of the socks, but we still kicked the ball hidden in the grass. I’m sure it looked bizarre from a distance, as 12 people were kicking a large pile of grass from 12 different directions.
After 20 minutes in the lush meadows of our garden, we ran inside to seek cover from the cloud’s wrath as it released gallons of water in microseconds. Inside, my wife had organised the next game which dried all wet socks again. She had mixed a 17 minute version of “Chihuahua” (by DJ Bobo), which gradually made all people at the party dance around the house in a long chain, screaming “Chihuahua … oh Chihuahua…” The only person not participating was my wife. She had to control the music!
We soon felt an urge to eat, after all the exercise, so we attacked the lasagna like vultures. Within minutes, the gigantic lasagna was reduced to a few meat crumbles and everybody was full. It is nice to see and hear your food is appreciated.
The climax of the birthday party had arrived. My Latina beauty had outdone herself again. She created a birthday cake masterpiece. The cake was an amazing piece of art. I’ve seen nothing like it before. It makes you wonder how such creations are possible. Our son was tense of anticipation when we started to sing happy birthday. The smile on his face was priceless. His face was glowing of happiness as the cake was placed in front of him. A smile so big. I don’t think I’ve seen him that happy before. He was over the moon and rightfully so. The cake was admired by all visitors, and I had to write a short blog about it too … and share the pictures on Facebook.
After we had demonstrated our NOT-so-X-factor talents by singing happy birthday in three languages (English, Spanish and Irish), the cake was devoured. The cake was delicious! Most people had several pieces and all the kids had their sugar levels fully restored.
The adults retreated to the kitchen dining area as the kids returned to the play area, running up and down the stairs, in and out of the house, staying in the garden or watching a movie. We simply enjoyed relaxing for a few minutes while talking and laughing. Let’s not forget, we had plenty of beer, wine and Caipirinha, and soon we were humming to the tunes of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding“. My wife was shouting the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun“as well. In short, the adults were having a great time too.
It was one of the best family parties we’ve had in years. Everybody enjoyed it and we were all really relaxed. Not sure why, but it was just one of those parties where people just had fun. But, like any other party, it had to come to an end. Most of the kids were below 8, so the adults knew that we had to stop drinking eventually. Kids don’t care about hang-overs and we all knew it.
In the end, I was running around shouting “feck, drink” like Father Jack from Father Ted. My mother in law was lying in the hallway with her jacket in the hand aiming for the door and my mate was walking aimlessly in the middle of the street (in our cul-de-sac), looking for his car – don’t worry, his sober wife was driving. All this happened while the kids were staring in amazement at their parents.
The worst thing about throwing a party, at least for the host, is the clean-up afterwards. However, with some help from relatives and a dishwasher, this was done in no time. Soon the house looked normal again and we headed to bed. It was only 21.30, but we were wrecked. I somehow knew, as I was lying on my bed looking at the ceiling (trying to get the room to stop spinning) that the kids would be up early.
We had loads of fun. Thanks to all the birthday wishes and for people making this a wonderful party. Not too mention, a huge thanks to my wife for giving our son the best cake ever … no pressure on creating the next birthday cake! 🙂 🙂