Our niece Sarah has officially competed her tenth lap around our planet's sun, a date that she's managed to wiggle into every conversation (hourly) for the past eight or nine months. I never knew a kid's birthday could be so vitally important. I'm pretty sure my own childhood B-days didn't drum up this much fanfare... because we weren't allowed to make that big of a fuss over ourselves. Having three siblings is a great way to keep a kid humble.
No child's birthday since the virgin birth has commanded as much attention as Sarah's tenth. She's made it clear to all concerned that "double digits" is a monumental milestone, one worthy of headlines and ticker tape parades through town. A conversation about vegetables was just as likely to end up being a discussion of her party plans, and it was a rare thing to get through a meal without the details of her celebration being mentioned.
Having been duly reminded, we had our bases covered yesterday. But the kid hopped out of bed singing "Good Morning, Good Morning!" over and over and over, and made several references to the fact that it was indeed a beautiful morning, fit for a princess. I tried to explain that it wasn't cool to behave like a weasel on crack before adults had consumed caffeine, but there was no talking to the child. She was wired.
On our trip to school yesterday morning, we made a stop at Publix to pick up our order of 30 cupcakes for her to pass out to her classmates, and she made certain everyone within earshot of the cash register knew they were for her birthday celebration at school. I hadn't had enough coffee for all this excitement, so I was more than eager to deliver the kid and her cupcakes to school. She jabbered away excitedly as we sat in the school parking lot and waited for the doors to finally open. What followed was an epic stream of consciousness, complete with tapping feet and waving hands and occasional musical renditions of "Good Morning, Good Morning!"... You would have thought it was Christmas morning and she child was seconds away from ripping into a stack of presents, not moments away from homeroom attendance.
I had a few hours to myself after Miss Hyper entered the school, a respite I used to prepare myself for the evening's dinner plans. We had told Sarah that in honor of her birthday we would take her to the restaurant of her choice, and she had smiled and threatened to find one that would cost "at least a hundred dollars!" She chose TGIF Fridays, so I figure my wallet got a break on that deal...
Her actual "party" is scheduled for this coming Saturday. We've reserved a pair of rooms at the local Embassy Suites, and she's invited four of her closest friends for a sleepover, complete with swimming in their indoor pool. Every moment of that evening has already been meticulously planned out, I can assure you. The child should consider a career as an event planner...
When we finally got the kid wound down enough for bedtime, I looked at my wife and said, "At least we have 90 years before we have to worry about triple digits."
Of course, in a couple of years we'll have to make a big fuss over the "teens".
Sigh. It never ends.