What is the point of having a first birthday party? The little ones are still too young to understand what’s going on around them. Jon and I agree. The first birthday is for the parents: “We kept the kid alive for a whole year! Come celebrate!”
After the past year, I was certainly ready to celebrate the achievement of successfully guiding the muppets through their first year. Last year, I did not get to celebrate. Their birth day was not a joyous, exciting occasion. Aside from the 15 seconds Search was held in front of me, while I tried to figure out which muppet he actually was, I didn’t even get to meet them. So this year, I had time to make up for…the muppets are home and healthy. Come celebrate!
We decided to have the party at our local park. Mother Nature and I had a bit of a heart-to-heart early in the week; I requested a cease-fire on the rain. Because we’ll always be celebrating over Memorial Day weekend, I had a sneaking suspicion that others may be trying to stake out the same park benches I had my eye on. I gave GrampaStavo and Uncle Paul the job of claiming the area at 6 a.m. Jon, GrammaJ, GrampaStavo, and Uncle Paul thought the pre-dawn dibs was severe overkill.
At 6 a.m., we pulled up. My park area was occupied. The two men patrolling the four benches I’d planned on picnicking at had arrived at 1 a.m. and slept on the concrete benches. Now *that’s* dedication. It was on to Plan B. All I had to do was figure out what Plan B was. Ultimately, we simply moved the shindig about 25 yards to the left – setting up a giant tent over a large grassy knoll and scrambling for some last minute folding tables.
As what I’m sure comes as a tremendous shock to all regular readers, we had a muppet-themed party. Interestingly enough, it is pretty much impossible to find muppet items these days. So we shifted slightly to a Sesame Street theme – still officially muppets, but not “The Muppets.” Uncle Paul and GrampaStavo were left to decorate while I returned home to get our very special guest stars ready for their annual debut. They did an excellent job.
Right before the festivities kicked off, Grandpa Gary arrived with giant Big Bird and Elmo balloons. The final piece de resistance was a “1” balloon centerpiece. “I had nothing to do with this,” Jon intoned. The framed the tent, beckoning people to gorge themselves on hamburgers, hotdogs and MUPPET CUPCAKES.
The muppets are so blessed to have so many little friends who came out to share in their special day. Even our NICU nurses were there to celebrate the end of a long journey and the beginning of their next great adventure.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the party was over and it was time to go home. It started pouring. Mother Nature has a dark sense of humor – the dregs of our party people laughed to ourselves under the giant Plan B tent, while the 1 a.m. campers at the picnic area gave us the stink eye as their barbequed delectable got soaked. Then as suddenly as it had begun, the rain was gone. And with it, went one of our Elmo balloons – designed to have a little Elmo holding a “Happy Birthday” balloon. We watched it rise higher and higher and then realized it looked like a small child was still attached.
Great, we figured we should get home quickly to watch the news as we may have just sparked the next balloon boy incident. “And local news organizations are reporting a small boy, believed to go by the name Elmo, is clutching a helium balloon and floating across the city…”
The muppets were exhausted. They were out cold before the stroller even rounded the corner. But when they woke up later in the afternoon, Destroy decided he’d had enough of being a baby. He was a great big one-year-old now. So he pulled himself up to a sitting position all by himself for the first time.
Here’s to year two!