I think the thing that made me really feel like a good dad was positioning myself to the side in case Lily needed help blowing out the candles on her birthday doughnut. She took a deep breath and blew and I saw that two of them weren't going to go out, so I quick blew them out from the side. Lily asked Jen, "Did you see that? I blew out all my candles with one breath!"
The party was on Saturday and we had it a pavilion at a local park. The park itself is nice, though the bathrooms are frightful. They're so awful that we're happy when they set up port-a-potties for sporting events because those actually smell nicer than the regular bathrooms.
Jen worked at Riverbend for a long time (a nature center that kept winning awards as the best place the to have birthday parties in the very wealthy community that housed it) and she's worked with kids for ages, so she's got a lot of experience and a lot of talent and she throws a very good birthday party. People occasionally say I'm good with kids, and I've come to think that's true, but only within a certain milieu. Jen is great with kids all the time and it showed with this party.
It was Batman themed. We even had the giant penny.
Enlarged to show texture.
I have to wonder how long it's going to be before Lily comes under more pressure to reject the "boy stuff". A kid last year told her she couldn't like Danny Phantom because it's a "boy's show, and I told her that she can like whatever she wants. She wanted a Batman party, and while I certainly relish the thought of hitting a Batman pinata with a crowbar,
|Your ass belongs to me, Batman|
I had the creeping dread that one of her friends would plant the seed that it's "wrong" to like Batman* and she would wind up feeling bad about being interested in the things she likes.
But that wasn't a problem this year. Boys and girls alike either came dressed up as a superhero or enthusiastically donned the capes that Jen had thoughtfully provided so they could become one. I wore my Superman shirt, Jen wore an Avengers shirt (despite not knowing who Iron Man is! The shame! I've failed as a husband) and it was pretty great. I have lots of wonderful pictures, but while I'll post pictures of my own kid online, I don't do that for pictures with other people's children, so you'll have to use your imagination.
|A caped crusader in a quiet moment|
|Giving Batman the beating he so richly deserves|
Almost all of Lily's friends were able to make it, and there were only two meltdowns over the course of the party. My mom is fond of telling me how hard she worked on the treasure hunt for my eighth birthday party and how disappointed she was when I threw a tantrum and told everyone that it was the "worst birthday ever!" so I think that any snags I have with Lily's temper tantrums are just my way of working off my karmic burden.
*It is in fact wrong to like Batman, but that's neither here nor there. He keeps getting arrested, you know.