I have officially reached the pinnacle of "Home Birthday Party world." Somehow we have managed to avoid the Chuck E. Cheese nation of party land. There is nothing wrong with rubber pizza, but we've tried to stretch Parker's parties every year into another event at home. This is our gift to him and hopefully to ourselves. I think.
For Parker's 7th Birthday party, our theme was "Splash Country." Kelly and I rented a dunking booth and a Bounce House (Moon walk for people my age and up), and we went all out one more time. Believe me, it would be hard to top the Choo-choo train party (age 2), Fireman party (age 3), Sports party (age 4) Cowboy Roundup (age 5), and Pirate party (age 6), but I think this year took the literal cookie cake. The weather cooperated, and so did the people. Over 40 kids and 20 adults arrived. By my arithmetic, that felt like 423 people in the yard at once. We shot water with our water syringes (think big tube here), threw wet sponges, walked on ice, and jumped in the bounce house with body parts that we did not know could bounce. And I think I fell into the dunking booth enough times to make me want to become a Methodist.
Instead of doing the traditional presents, we exchanged towels. Seriously. Every kid brought one for the wet elephant. This was the 7 year old version of white elephant. I wish I could say that was my idea, but most of the creativity, and smart thinking, at our house comes from Kelly.
Parker still went home with some cash in his pocket, and every child left with a gift. They left us with plenty of gifts as well: smiles, laughter, mud between my toes, leftover shoes, water in my ears, and some great memories. And after everyone went home, I ordered pizza.