Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rocket Boy

The Boy's fifth birthday was a while ago (6/6, to be exact), but we officially celebrated on the 14th. Again my lovely wife did a lot of work for the party — rockets were the theme this year — and everything came off well. We made cutouts from old file folders to serve as paint patterns (which didn't quite work like we hoped) to busy the kids until everyone arrived. Once all were accounted for, we went out back to the large, sloped lawn in Teardrop Park to launch rockets. My wife discovered these small foam rocket launchers at Target (that worked surprisingly well), and we also brought out the larger stomp rocket set we picked up for the occasion. I had originally wanted to make water-propelled rockets out of plastic bottles (great idea, Make Magazine), but it turns out that they go dangerously high in a city like ours. And as much as I'd like to see up close one of those policemen on horseback that always patrol our neighborhood, I'd rather not provide my children with a story that includes the phrase "so then dad got arrested..."

When the pizza arrived (and pizza always arrives at these parties), we retrieved all the loose rockets and went in to eat, right as the sky opened up and turned the streets into creeks. After pizza was cake: this year my wife made a lovely blue buttercream solar system, complete with fruit rollup planets (the earth even had discernible and proper continents) and a toy space shuttle blasting off from one corner. It was darn good.

The kids trickled out home with their rockets and goody bags filled will space bracelets, tiny rocket capsules with crayons inside, and space stickers.* Everyone really seemed to have a good time, including The Boy (unlike last year). The presents he received were great, too — lots of games and construction toys, which fit his mind and level just right.

He arrived in the night five years ago (why do they always come at night?) into hands from the rescue part of the hospital. He was just barely a spark, or, looking back, perhaps an atom newly split before it lets loose a blooming cloud. So small and nothing but potential swaddled in doubt. Now the doubt is gone, and five is definitely worth celebrating.

Happy Birthday, son. (And thanks for thanking your mother.)

*Did you ever notice that everything sounds better with 'space' in front of it? Pants = boring. Space pants = cool.


Nadine said...

Your posts make me want to go back in time and have your lovely wife organize my childhood birthday parties :) That sounded awesome!

"so then dad got arrested..." LOL!

teahouse said...

What a lovely post..and a lovely tribute to your little boy. Happy birthday to him!