May 16, 2005

Happy Birthday to Sam!

Sam has been turning six for several days now, so tomorrow's forecast might include some birthday withdrawal. Today will be the culmination of what seems like months of planning and answering the question, "How many days til my birthday now?" His excitement has never reached a fever pitch, but it has been a constant background hum, like the sound of waves in a seashore cottage.

Kids' birthdays have apparently become a huge industry. If King George ever got a constitutional amendment outlawing birthday parties (don't be surprised--they are inherently pagan), I think the entire economy of American suburbia could collapse. Birthday parties are Big Business at pizza joints, tumbling studios, playground places, museums, and even arts & crafts stores. Parents shell out up to $50 a kid for these parties which employ not only the party coordinators but also thousands of cake bakers, pizza delivery guys, and handi-wipe sellers.

Sam, however, is having his party in a park, with a traditionally pagan pinata and lots of friends. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Perhaps we should make a sacrifice this morning to one of the many various pagan weather spirits. We are fortunate that Sam is happy with friends, a few toys, a big place to run and play, and piles of candy. Makes for a cheap and fun party. Of course, it also is a lot more work than those prefab, drop-off-and-forget-it parties that are becoming so popular in suburbia.

So, happy birthday to Sam! Today you turn six. Now we are Very Big.

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