Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Party Redux (Owen's 10th)

Owen's 10th B-Day Party

Over the summer, we asked Owen what he'd like to do for his birthday and he responded without hesitation, "laser tag." I wasn't overly excited, but Owen had already planned everyone's position and Allen, who had taken Owen to several parties at the laser tag place, assured me that Ultrazone Laser Tag was really easy and as Owen's birthday is days before school starts and 12 days before Nora's, easy sounded good. So we booked it and sent out invites -- lots of invites as many people extend their vacations through the weekend before school starts and laser tag requires a lot of people in attendance. Once we finally had a quorum, we relaxed.

Until the night before the party. I wasn't feeling great so I let the answering machine pick up when a call came in at 6:30 pm. There was a bunch of mumbling, but when I heard "Ultrazone" I quickly grabbed the handset only to learn that owing to some issue with their lease, Ultrazone was unable to access their building which meant Owen couldn't have his party there the following morning. The manager offered to let us hold the party at another venue about an hour away, but we demurred and instead proceeded to call all fourteen of the intended attendees informing them that the party was cancelled but they'd be getting a new invite once we had a had a place, date and time.

Owen was great about the whole thing. No one is happy to have their party cancelled on the eve of their birthday, but he was pretty stoic about the whole thing. We started talking about possible venues and dates, and while we tried to find another laser tag place, Owen wasn't thrilled with the equipment at the alternative site. So we suggested trampoline parks and climbing gyms and rock walls, but Owen declined and expressed his preference to return to Sandy Springs Adventure Park.

We'd held Owen's eighth birthday party at Sandy Springs, and while lovely, it rained the entire time at which point I vowed to never have a party outside again. But Owen insisted, we needed to get something on the calendar, and he was being such a good sport about it, so we booked it for Labor Day and sent out invites (to both those that couldn't make the first party and those that did) and turned our attention to Nora's party (which we had scheduled early in order to avoid Labor Day weekend...).

Time passed. School started. Nora's birthday party went off without a hitch. Nora turned seven. 16 kids responded that they'd be attending (apparently Labor Day is less of a travel draw than the weekend before school starts). And then tropical storm Hermine started brewing...

Historically, the birthday party gods have not been kind to us. There was the tornado at Nora's 3rd. The double booking at Nora's 4th. The rainstorm at Owen's eighth. And the near cancelation at Owen's 9th owing to his ER trip earlier that week. Knowing our luck, I started panicking, because as much as I love Owen and as much as the 10th anniversary of his birth should be commemorated with style, I couldn't face the prospect of having to cancel another party and plan a third celebration, particularly as the Fall activity schedule was upon us.

There was much prayer and possibly drinking. But in the end, the weather gods were kind and Hermine skirted over the mid-Atlantic though the party gods did bench a few of Owen's friends at the last minute (two owing to some bug, the third failed to get his arm cast off in a timely manner). We had beautiful weather, Owen was in his element and the 13 kids and 5 adults had a pretty amazing time.

(To see all the pictures, click here.)

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