Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Birthday Parties You Remember

Havoc and Linus spent the better part of Saturday afternoon getting the pizza fixings ready for the party: grocery shopping for fresh ingredients; measuring, mixing, and kneading the homemade dough, etc. It was a LOT of work. Havoc said, "If I bake bread a lot, I won't have to work out at a gym." I helped chop and display. I also helped by preheating the ovens just before the party got started. The boys were arriving - some of the parents stayed to chat and help (which was WONDERFUL, AMAZING, and PERFECT - sorry to scream at you but it was so much fun to have new adults to talk to!!) About 15 minutes after the first guest arrived and just before the last three showed up, Linus came into the kitchen and yelped, "Who turned on the oven?!! Oh no!" Guess where all that homemade pizza dough had been put to rise? We had 10 nine-year old boys, six other kids, four newly met parents, our favorite in-town Uncle, dozens of ramekins of individual pizza toppings - and a GIANT bowl of BAKED bread, but no pizza dough, no longer. All my fault! I thought I'd ruined Havoc's party. Havoc was a wee bit shocked when he saw singed towel and the huge bread creature on the counter. He gave me a look and a hug to say it was ok, but he couldn't hide that he was bummed. I really felt like crying. Good thing all those other adults were around. They got creative. "When life hands you unexpected bread bowls, make garlic butter!" they said. Havoc jumped right in on the new direction of things. He gave me another hug and said it would be all right and maybe even better this way. Spices. He LOVES to add spices to things. He and Unky Dunky started went out to cut fresh rosemary, one of the parents chopped garlic - and voila! An appetizer to feed the children while Bet ran to the store for pre-made dough. It was a good thing we thought of something to tide them over, because they were hungry and smelled yummier than little boys usually do (having tromped around the herb garden together) - and I was a tad bit concerned they would start gnawing on each other.

It ended up being a GREAT party. Wine for the adults, crazy pizzas and milkshakes for the kids and a little Ratatouille on in the background. Havoc's pals know him well and got him fantastic presents. He got this cookbook, and a stack of silicone, red, mini bundt cake forms, and bionicles and legos, and mancala, and a wooden dragon to build. What did I tell you? His friends have him pegged. I enjoyed meeting the other parents; I thought the boys were great - even the three who were on their third birthday party for the day by the time they got to us were sweet in their rambunctiousness. Now it's time for the Christmas decorations to come out. (We make sure neither to let Christmas take over Havoc's day nor to let it linger into Bet's in January.) It's sixty degrees here today which makes it a bit harder to get into the holiday spirit, but I am NOT complaining. I love it. I'm going to run in the sun while I still can and send good vibes to my pals in the Northeast who are wading through snow. Peace.

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