In April I took my reader, Ziyan, to Finn’s birthday party. Even at six years old, he and his friends are big Star Wars fans, so everything from paper products to activities to the food was centered on Star Wars. Ziyan took it all in for about an hour and then asked, “Do all American birthday parties have a theme?”
Interesting question! Not for adults, I assured her. Many children’s parties do have a theme, but not all. She was pretty fascinated and really appreciated the experience.
So this weekend I thought of her as we enjoyed Knox’s tenth birthday party. He called me a few days ago and told me his theme would be “Things I Think are Amazing.” He called because he thinks my Dill Party Mix is amazing and he wanted some for his party. Easy contribution to make! We all enjoyed it.
It was a family party: our two children and their families plus our daughter-in-law Gina’s sister and her family, who are unofficially our children and grandchildren, too. It warms my heart when Gina’s three nephews and niece call us “Namma” and “Papaw” as our grandchildren do. And seem excited to see us.
They’d been working together all weekend on the yard—part of their regular “work weekends” when they get together on a project for house or yard. They’d taken a break for church Sunday morning, but had worked some again and were finishing up when we got there around 5.
When we arrived, Knox’s cousin Oren, age 5, came running to meet us. When I leaned over to hug him, he whispered, “Did you bring a present?” When I answered yes, he asked, “What is it?”
“Legos,” I replied.
“We did, too!” he squealed. “What kind?” We had quite the conversation. Then when I took our bags from the car, he said, “Two bags! What else did you get him?”
“Clothes,” I answered, to shortcut the conversation.
“Clothes?” he said, disgusted. “Why would you give clothes for a birthday present?” And he stomped away, disappointed in my lack of understanding of what a good birthday gift should be.
For his party, Knox’s mother made a lovely four-layer cake with the words “10 is AWESOME!” Around it, Knox placed several things he thinks are awesome. A few I remember are Star Wars figures, Garfield cartoons, MadLibs, Legos, and a sombrero to represent his love of hats.
The food was wonderful, so I’m so glad that he loves good food: Brats and hot dogs, pork burgers, fresh cut corn, fried okra, red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, raw carrots, and several carefully chosen varieties of chips.
After dinner, we sang “Happy Birthday” and he blew out his candles. Then he started opening gifts. As expected, many were Star Wars Legos. He says he can never have too many “battle packs,” and his delight at all he received was evident. The Korean friends who were there scored a big hit with a huge Star Wars Lego kit. (She said she googled “what a 10-year-old boy would like.”)
When he got to our bag with the clothes, I watched him carefully, because his dad had told me what he’d love to get. He pulled out a folded white shirt and looked at it closely, then broke into a broad smile. “A shirt with French cuffs!” he chortled. “And cuff links!”
“Oh!” Oren said, when he saw Knox’s delight. “Now I get it.” So I guess I’m back in his good graces.
The second part of Knox’s celebration, at his request, was a trip on Monday to the Build-a-Bear store in Indianapolis. He, Oren, and Finn each got to “make” a bear. That really means they choose the outside of the bear and push a pedal while the store worker gets the stuffing inside correctly.
She was super at her job. The whole time she was stuffing the bear, she asked that boy questions about school and what he liked and what he was good at. The boys were thrilled with their bears. Three were Star Wars bears and Knox’s other one was in a camouflage outfit.
It was a lovely time together. Sixteen people getting along so well for a long weekend was quite a feat. And, since it was also a work weekend, they got lots of yard work done for Knox’s parents. I am so grateful to have children—and extended children—who love each other and the Lord. How blessed I am!
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John, verse 4