Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rained Out and Flushed Away

Well, we were going to play putt-putt.

Yesterday, a little over a week late, was the Friends Party for Timothy's 9th birthday. As previously described, our kids get about 4 birthday celebrations each year. First, on the Day itself, each gets to open presents from us (and, I suppose for the future, from his brothers). Second, at some point within a couple of weeks before or after, we'll have dinner of some sort with my parents (and possibly my sister's family). Third, there's also a monthly celebration with my wife's huge family, where the whole clan will get together and (in passing) celebrate the birthdays from that month.

Fourth and finally, there's the Friends party, where the boy chooses a few friends (historically, between 1 and 12) and we'll do something. Stephen's birthday is in the summer, so we've had a sprinkler party for him (I think that was the one with 12 friends). Jonah's is three days after Christmas, so we usually grab whomever is still in town and still has some celebration left in them for a quiet get-together. Sam is 3, and hasn't really been old enough for a friends-only party yet.

But Timothy's birthday sits squarely at the beginning of the Holiday Movie Season. So he has seen several movies as his party, including The Incredibles (highly recommended for all occasions) and Zathura (not recommended at all; as Stephen said after seeing it, "Dad, promise me we'll never buy that movie." I did so promise).

As the oldest, Timothy's birthday requests are the most extravagant. He's asked to go to the new Georgia Aquarium, but at twenty-something dollars a head, we had to say no. He's also asked to go to that Medieval Times jousting restaurant, but the tickets are even more expensive, so we had to say no to that, too. Sometimes it sucks to be a Dad.

This year, he wanted to go play putt-putt. Supposing this to be cheaper than an aquarium or turkey-leg trip, we agreed.

Then the complications began. First, I was going to be out of town for the weekend of his actual birthday. So we picked the next weekend, but 2 of his friends couldn't make it (he had picked 4). We finally agreed on a weekend when 3 of the 4 could come, and he decided to add another friend to the list.

The day of the party arrived, cloudy and cold. We dithered. I checked the weather, but it said only 10% chance of rain. My wife wanted to plan something else, but when I asked Timothy, he still wanted to go putt-putt. So we raked leaves.

Later in the day, still cloudy, now 20% chance of rain, still putt-putt on the agenda. Friends arrived, 30% chance, coudy and windy now, still putt-putt. So we pack 4 third graders, 1 first grader (Stephen wanted to go), and a worried Dad into the car and headed off to Stone Mountain.

When we arrived, it started to sprinkle. No biggie, I had seen the radar and it was a very thin line of showers. Then we saw the signs: DeKalb County Family Cookout. The place was packed. There was nowhere to park near the putt-putt course. So I drove to another set of parking lots, thinking we could walk. After all, my wife had told me not to come home for 2 hours (the boys had gotten into the creek before we could leave, and it had frazzled her a little). But the rain kept falling.

So I called my wife, and she said, "What about a movie?"

"Fine by me. What's playing?"

She checked the local dollar theater, "Nothing."

"What about Regal 24?" This is the mega theater built on top of the old 85 Drive In, where I first saw Star Wars. Good memories there.

She looked, "Well, Flushed Away is playing, but not until 4." It was barely 3:00. This was unacceptable.

"What about North DeKalb?"

"Bingo, 3:20. Come get Jonah."

I did, and we all piled in. I normally get a kick out of the stares I get whenever I take 4 boys somewhere, so I was loving walking around the mall with 6 hyperactive boys. We "stood" in line, got our tickets, and got into the theater just as the ads came on. Perfect timing.

The movie was great. No cussing. One poop joke, one fart joke, and two burp jokes. That's all, and not too bad for a Dreamworks related movie (I think Shrek surpassed all of that in the opening credits). It's a very funny movie nonetheless, and very pro-big-family. The singing slugs were great, as were the ninja frogs. My guys laughed throughout, and then talked about it all the way home.

Oh yeah, when we got out of the movie, it was pouring down rain. It seems I had read the radar wrong (actually, I neglected to look at the loop). It wasn't a thin line of clouds, it was a thin column of clouds, followed by another, and another. It hadn't stopped raining since we had left Stone Mountain park, and it rained on through presents, pizza, and cake.

I think it stopped as my wife was taking everyone home.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger Becki said...

Sounds a little like your birthdays growing up! Remember some of those thunder storms at Stone Mountain while you were out on the lake with a boat full of cousins?!!! Mom


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