Sunday, December 19, 2010
Food Fight Birthday!
I should have said this in a comment last week, but since I didn’t, I’ll say it here: I love how all you guys went with the (kinda loser) guy thing. Something about that was really fun for me and I just want to say thanks :) More about the (kinda loser) guy later, but what I’m wanting to talk about this week is birthdays. Those of you who read last week's comments probably saw that a (definitely nice) dad requested a little birthday wish from me for his (unfortunately sick) daughter whose birthday is today. So I sent a note, and since my son’s birthday was yesterday, it got me thinking how my son has been sick on some of his birthdays, and how miserable that was for him. It also got me thinking about fun birthdays. There were two from my childhood that I remember with great fondness. My mom always baked our cakes, and one year I thought she’d had a little trouble with the baking because my cake was oddly shaped. There was this weird top layer that looked like only part of a layer but it was…I don’t know, just strange. And when I went to cut it, it was like a rock (which was not boding well for the enjoyment of this cake). But then I realized that the top layer was an upside down margarine tub, and once I removed it I discovered that inside the tub was a jewelry box with a darling little necklace. So that was really unexpected and fun and I thought my mother was very clever. The other birthday was one I had after a long battle with my appendix (which ruptured and had me sick for way longer than I should have been). My parents converted our backyard into this elaborate Wild West Adventure Land with booths and gold nuggets and activities…I remember it as being just amazing. But I think the birthday that, uh, takes the cake, was my son’s tenth birthday. Food Fight Birthday! Mind you, this was not a spontaneous chucking (and thankfully not upchucking) of food. This food fight was planned and sanctioned by adults. (Well, at least by someone passing herself off as an adult and her poor accomplice...I mean, husband.) Yup, I got this idea in my head and once it was there, there was no stopping me. I made vast quantities of rice and mixed it with mashed potatoes. I bought huge bags of dinner rolls. I bought cases of whipped cream cans. I made a huge slab of Jell-o cake. There were boxes of cookies and crackers and bags of marshmallows. The kid in me was not thinking about starving kids in Africa. The kid in me thought it was the most awesome idea ever! The day of the party, Mark and I hauled the vats of food, a table, chairs, a boom box, shovels and shields down to the beach (which was deserted because it was cold and cloudy and threatening rain). First we made the kids play some obligatory games…beach golfing, balloon volleyball, ring toss….you know. But really, the ten or so kids who’d come were there for one thing: FOOD FIGHT! So we gave each kid a poncho (because we thought their moms would appreciate that). Then Mark and I split them into teams and cut them loose to dig their foxholes and ready their strategies. And when we finally said GO, those kids cut loose. They hurled food and darted in and out of enemy territory dousing each other with whipped cream. It was wild! Completely out of control! And such fun. The unexpectedly cool thing about the aftermath of this food fight was that the food did not go to waste after all. Not that it went to kids in Africa, but the seagulls swooped in and had the beach spotless before we could load up the table and chairs. The bonus being, no clean up! My son is now 17, and most of that same group of friends will be over tomorrow for a jam session birthday party. (I’m talking music here, not strawberries.) So they’ve outgrown the urge to hurl food (I’m counting on that, anyway), but to this day they all still talk about Food Fight Birthday. If you have a favorite (or least favorite!) party story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear. Meanwhile, may your days be merry and bright, and may at least one birthday in your life be…FOOD FIGHT!