Fantastic Fifteen

Some bloggers write about events as they actually happen, or soon thereafter. Coincidentally, their posts are often timely and relevant.

Here at the Duckabush Blog, we are bound by no such constraints.

Some 45 days ago, our middle son (Daniel) celebrated his 15th birthday. Birthday parties often pose a certain challenge, especially with a large family living on a single income. Each child typically wants their party to surpass all previous parties, including those of siblings or friends. All it takes is one friend with a doting or wealthy parent, and the bar can be set impossibly high.

Nothing says '"happy birthday" like a wrestling match on the climbing wall.

We try all kinds of subterfuges and schemes to limit the cost of the party.

“Remember, every dollar we spend on your party is a dollar less that we spend on your gifts.”

“No, you had your big party last year — this year it is your turn to have a modest, family-only party.”

“As it turns out, we recently discovered that you were switched at birth, at the hospital. If we can find out who your real parents are, maybe they will throw you a party.”

OK, maybe we haven’t actually used that last one, but it is certainly worth a try.

We tried, with some success, to stop them from using the climbing wall as a tool to achieve escape-velocity.

Anyway, this year we were blessed with a cost-saving alternative. One of my good friends works at a nearby company that provides lavish recreational facilities for the workers, and makes them available to employee families and friends. He graciously invited us to join him for a morning of mini-golf, pickle ball, basketball, darts, air hockey, rock-climbing and massage chairs, to celebrate Daniel’s big day.

Daniel really seemed to enjoy the event, pictured here with Noah.

Afterwards, we enjoyed pizza and ice cream pies at home — definitely a fun and joyous way to celebrate Daniel’s big day.

Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like a photo-shopped, history-revisionist sign.

Happy birthday, beloved son!

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