Of course Casey's a little young for that now. But we do try and take advantage of the day off school each year to do something fun. This year we celebrated Casey's birthday on his birthday. I showed up at school to read Casey's class a story and help them sing Happy Birthday to him. I brought muffins, and they were a big hit. I brought my mom with me, and she sat next to him during story time. I read one of his new favorite books (he got it for Christmas): Pirates Don't Change Diapers.
My parents were in town, and we met up with Jason's parents, and some of Casey's aunts and uncles at Casey's favorite restaurant, Red Robin. Here's one of my favorite mini-videos of Casey dancing at his party:
Of course his birthday celebration didn't end at Red Robin. After we returned home, he played for a few minutes with his most coveted gift, a remote control James that Jason's parents got him. Then he climbed up on my dad's shoulders while they read books, which Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Bobby got Casey for his birthday (sidebar- I love having sisters in law who are teachers and buy the kids terrific books for holidays!).
And we scheduled his birthday party for today, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s official holiday. We thought it'd give kids without school something to do for the day. We can never count on the weather in January, and I was a little glad today was rainy because it justified an afternoon at Pump it Up, and inflatable play zone, where kids can run around in their socks from bouncy house to bouncy house. Marcie liked the obstacle course and the giant slide. And the kids burned off a whole lotta energy.
I'm always surprised and amazed at the generosity of other kids. I mean, yeah, these pre-planned parties are pricey. We pay a premium for the convenience of letting someone else clean up, print up invitations, and generally run things. It's worth it, if you can afford it of course, because having forty people traipse through your house on a rainy day-- especially when your house is on the smallish size like ours-- is a lot of cleaning. And if you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you know that not only am I not particularly good at cleaning, but I also just don't like it. Anyway, Casey's birthday this year was an example of generosity. People were thoughtful and although we had Casey wait until we got home to open presents (except for those few whose givers really wanted to see Casey's reaction), it was worth the wait for him. We'll probably set aside many, many of the gifts, and slowly bring them out throughout the year. Except for the clothes. Those will go into immediate circulation.
And one last thought-- I am so surprised at how well some of those kids write! I could tell many of them wrote their own names and Casey's name. And I suppose I was writing when I was five, too. But . . . wow. . . now that I'm parenting a five year old, it's just so much more impressive.
And I will leave you all with a final photo. We used money my grandparents sent the kids to buy them a Melissa & Doug easel (which really is wonderful). The kids primarily use it for the white board and chalk board, but this weekend, Casey and I set up the paints my parents gave him as a birthday gift while Marcie was taking a nap. Here's my beautiful, funny, creative five year old son: