Those of you who have been reading for some time now -- particularly the stuff I've written about Noah over the past three years or so -- may remember The Thing About Birthday Parties.
(For those of you who haven't been reading that long: The Thing About Birthday Parties is that Birthday Parties Suck Elephant Ass, Most Of The Time.)
But we went to a birthday party on Friday night -- the birthday party of the very same little boy whose at-home, laid-back party was so perfect for Noah when I wrote this post, almost exactly a year ago. The party that came just hours after one of my lowest moment as Noah's mom, a moment that left me frustrated and angry and embarrassed and...scared. So very, very scared.
This year's party was not at his house, though. It was at one of those dreaded kiddie gym places, with the parachute and the games and the singing and a good dozen activities with a dozen transitions in between. Basically, EXACTLY the sort of party we have avoided for years now. A ton of kids, a ton of colors and music pumped in over loudspeakers, with lining up and taking turns and Staying With The Group and Other Kids Bumping Into You and Things That Require Motor-Planning Skills and a million other everyday things that most kids are okay with, because it's a party! It's fun! No reason to melt down and scream sensory bloody murder here, right?
But we went anyway.
He's the one in the blue Yankees shirt. You know, if you couldn't pick him out from the crowd, having the time of his life, just like every other kid there.