Day 341. Superhero Teams

About a month ago I blogged about a school play I went to see, and how fabulous it was. My friend’s seven year old grand nephew, “G”, was in it. The kids were traceyjust TOO cute. But what had also struck me was how involved the mom’s were. My friend’s niece, for example, worked on the sets, costumes and make-up.

A hell of a lot of work.

She was tied up with it for months. With a full time job, another kid and a household to run, there’s no way she could have pulled it off without her husband’s cooperation and help.

Last weekend they did it again.

This time it was the baby of the family’s birthday. “E”, who is “G’s” younger brother. He turned four.

A few years ago, busy parents took the birthday boy or girl, and four or five of their friends, to Chuck E. Cheese or McDonald’s for all the junk food they could consume in a few hours.

Perfect for busy, working parents because it meant no fuss, no muss, no cooking or clean-up. Somebody else’s problem.

When I was a kid, there were no fast food emporiums. So my birthday parties were at home. But they were relatively simple affairs. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or assorted little party sandwiches, potato chips, and CAKE. The only thing the kids really wanted was the cake. Oh yeah, and the gifts.

An hour or two and everyone went home. Relatively simple.

So I was completely unprepared for what awaited me at “E’s” birthday bash last weekend.

“E” is into superheroes. So that was the theme of his party. “Okay”, you’re saying to yourselves. “No big deal. The stores are crawling with Batman and Superman and Spider-Man and Iron Man and X-Men stuff. Easy, peasy. One trip to Walmart and you’re done!”

Well, maybe for some parents. But NOT for “E’s” and “G’s”.

This mom CREATED all her own stuff! She made little superhero-themed chinese take-out containers for popcorn. She made super-hero-themed labels for water bottles, which meant she first had to remove the ones already on the bottles. She made little super-hero themed cups (the size of tart shells) for healthy snacks, like baby carrots and grapes and cherries. She made little super-hero themed signs (on sticks) for the hotdogs and also the birthday cake. There were personalized swag bags for all the kids. And by personalized, I mean what was in the bags was specifically chosen for each little guest. Although each bag did have a candy bar with — yes, you guessed it — her own, specially created super-hero themed candy bar wrapper.

I’m weary just from writing about it.

But that’s not all.

Dad was just as involved as she was. He was in charge of the superhero TRAINING all the kids had to go through. Imagine about twelve little four year olds doing push ups and crunches. NEVER have you seen anything more adorable!!! They had to go through memory training exercises and laser beam exercises. And dad MADE a barbell.

Yes, he made it. Don’t know where the pole part came from, but he made the weights for each end out of styrofoam, which he cut into round discs (three per side) and painted black. So our superheroes-in-training also had to lift weights. It’s not easy being a superhero, after all. You have to be in tip-top shape.

And if you’re thinking dad let any of them off easy, think again. He was quite the drill sergeant.

They were at it, huffing and puffing and having a blast for a couple of hours. You can’t imagine how serious they were about these exercises. It was a sight to behold.

But that’s not all, either.

Each superhero graduate received a personalized certificate. But the ‘piece de resistance’ HAD to be the superhero mask and cape each kid was given, personalized with their initials. Tracey, “E” and “G’s” mom is modelling one in the photo. She woke up at about 4:00 a.m. the morning of the party and decided it would be fun so she whipped them up between breakfast and the time all the guests started arriving at around 1:00 p.m.

Yes, there was a birthday cake. A fabulous concoction of chocolate and sugar and superheroes and candles and sparklers. It was the only item she bought. Everything else — and I do mean everything — was made by Tracey and her husband, Nick. The superhero team, who were the true superheroes of the day.

‘Cause when you both have careers, a home, kids, meals to prepare, soccer and T-ball teams to coach, laundry, dusting, dishes, beds to make, gardening and God only knows what else to do everyday, it takes superhuman power to throw your four year old a party he and his buddies and the rest of us will NEVER forget!

May the force STAY with you!!!

 

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18 thoughts on “Day 341. Superhero Teams

  1. Ummm….somehow I’m not thinking this is not a great idea. They’re four year olds. It’s setting the bar high so early and setting up disappointment for other parties. It sounds like fun though. As a kid I was all about the cake and ice cream myself. Kids today may be different.

    • Well, I’ve got to disagree with you this time. From the enthusiastic response, and participation, of all the kids parents, who were also there, I didn’t get the impression any of them felt the slightest bit threatened that their own kids parties wouldn’t measure up.

      Everyone had a great time.

      I think you’ve missed the point. It doesn’t take big bucks to throw a great party. With some creativity and resourcefulness and a willingness to invest time and effort you can achieve anything.

      I sincerely doubt “E” and “G” are now so spoiled because their parents set the bar so high they’ll be expecting To take their pals on a Disney cruise next year. But if I’m wrong and it happens feel free to say “I told you so” 🙂

      • You are right. I was just so stunned at the amount of effort that I missed the big picture. Creativity certainly runs in the family. I expect one of these kids to be the next Spielberg!

      • As long as they grow up to be as nice and bright and loving and fun and inquisitive and generous and kind as they are now, it doesn’t matter how they end up earning their living :).

  2. Awesome! Sounds like it was fun for the whole family, mom and dad included. And it’s great both parents were so involved. Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’m going to whip up my own superhero cape before lunch. Just kidding, but I would like one!

  3. We hold our girls’ birthday parties at home, too. We do the decorating and make all the food (lunch). My parents make the cake (my Mom bakes it, and my Dad builds it; last year it was a train). It’s sweet to have my parents so involved, and these parties remind me of the ones I had as a kid. So far, we’ve had balloon artists, magicians, and face painters as the entertainment.

    Most of my girls’ friends have their parties at less personal places, like Bounce U, which get the job done. The kids don’t seem to notice much of a difference between those parties and the more personal ones, but the parents do. It’s hard for parents to enjoy the “conveyor belt” parties at Bounce U (four different parties held at the same facility, kids shuffled between two rooms, and parents stuck carrying their kids’ shoes). The kids love it, though, and one of my girls has even asked to have her next party there. She wants a chance to sit in the “throne,” the same one just about every kid she knows has sat in. Sometimes having a more unique party can make a kid feel left out.

    • Guess it’s more complicated than what we might think. As long as they have fun, and the parents are onside with it, it’s all good. I had fun at this party. Watching the kids go through their exercises was a hoot and see how the parents got into it and had fun themselves was really nice.

  4. When I was a little girl I shared my birthday with my Uncle. He wanted Cherry cake, I wanted Chocolate. My Nan made one of each. At least that is the way I remember it and that is the story I’m sticking too. When I was a little girl, my Dad organised musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey and the memory game and I know he was tickled to do so. While doing that my Mom made all our food, organised the fun, did ALL the clean up and kissed me goodnight. So, it isn’t that strange that I would want the same for my kids. I love doing it. I get that from my Dad. ANd he was there at “E”‘s party too …. with his tray and napkin to cover up the items for the memory game. He was there trying to life the bar-bell” and falling over from the weight of it all much to the delight of the 3 and 4 year olds and the rest of us too! So, Nick and I, we come by this over the top love thing natural-like. And we’d not have it any other way.

    • I was at those birthday parties you shared with your uncle. And I know you each got your favourite cakes. So I also know you’re now just doing what comes naturally. As for your dad and his weight lifting, I will never forget it as long as I live. Truly hysterical. Just perfect, actually. Very glad I was there to see it all. Good, good job!

  5. Since I’ve known Dad since high school and “supper mom” close to 15 years now I can’t say I am surprised, just envious and embarrassed that I have not put forth the same kind of effort for my little dude, although it has been at his request, I feel I could and should be doing more!
    Thanks for the inspiration and with this little morning read trust that I have been inspired to take it to the next level – after all if we can be all we can be for our kids, why bother!
    Keep up the great work super T & super N.
    Luv ya and miss ya,
    stinkman 😉

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