Harlan’s Fifth Birthday

A milestone has been reached. Our youngest child is now five years old. I’ve been thinking how nuts it is that 20% of his life has been lived in pandemic times. His birthday last year is what the kids refer to as “The Last Fun Day.” However, he has had a lot of fun between then and now, and we are delighted with our resilient, happy, curious, and strong-willed kid. For his birthday, we tried to make the things happen that he wanted.

We started with a celebration on Wednesday with his vaccinated grandparents! The weather this week has been absolutely perfect and it meant that Harlan could have so many celebrations outdoors with his family and friends. For the first party, we had pizza and ice-cream cones. Seamus still had a long day at school, and Gilbert had work to do online, so we set up the bounce house in the yard; Porter and Harlan bounced for more than three hours!

Make a wish!

(Pictures are getting much harder to add to the blog, so while I continue to try, I may have to stop, because I’m running out of free storage space on the blog.)

Ok, then we had to make Harlan’s dream for a birthday party come true. He wanted a Super Mario theme and to have his friends eat “Target pizza” (Pizza Hut express) in the park. We invited his three closest friends and their siblings for cupcakes, pizza, and playing in the park. It was a blast, and he and I had a great time getting decorations, planning the treats, and discussing all aspects of the party. I made cupcakes to look like the mushrooms in Super Mario Brothers, and he wanted a piñata with candy in it (so I put in candy that looked like coins–super fun).

Cupcakes!
Everyone got to make the candy come out!

He was over the moon with his party, and friends, and too much sugar. However, it didn’t stop him from having even more fun. We had a fire a couple of nights in a row, grilled out with friends, ran all over the yard, and went to bed way too late because everyone was living as if it was the last day on earth (still with masks on, of course). He got a couple of presents in the mail that made him so happy and excited, and he just maintained a lot of enthusiasm for the day.

On Sunday, Pi Day, his actual birthday, we had grandparents come over for lunch in the yard, and we set up a badminton net and enjoyed the sunshine and family time. It got a little windy (too much for a fire), but Harlan wasn’t complaining. We capped the weekend with dinner with friends, and you would think the kids were tired of being outside, but they kept rallying for more Among Us IRL, Ghost in the Graveyard, Werewolves, and all the other games they like to play outside as evening falls.

Today, he got take a treat to school, to extend the celebration one more day. Some notable things he said over the last few days:

After his party: “I’m so glad all my friends got to meet each other and play together.”

On the day of his birthday: “I’m a WHOLE HAND OLD!”

This morning on the way to school: “I can’t tell anyone I’m five now, because they weren’t invited to my party and they will know and feel bad.” I reassured him that he can tell them, because he was bringing a birthday treat to school, so it was kind of like having a party with all of his friends.

I love his little sensitive, high-EQ heart. He doesn’t want to make anyone to feel bad, unless he does want you to feel bad, in which case you will know about it. His brothers were all nice to him on his birthday, despite confessions of jealously from all of them. They are all planning their own celebrations, now!

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