Saturday, February 20, 2016

Our Jedi Knight Turns 7!

Charlie is seven years old! He seems so grown up -- it's hard to remember a time when his curly hair was platinum, when he lived-and-breathed firefighters, or the adorable way he used to pronounce "umbrella." Now, he's reading books about D-Day and Gettysburg, building elaborate Lego projects independently and playing soccer in padded goalie gear. Firefighters gave way to Superheroes long ago, which have been whole-heartedly replaced by Star Wars. But what remains constant is sweet Charlie's affectionate nature, his genuine kindness and his goofball sense of humor. He's a well-liked kid for sure, and a true joy to be around. We're waiting for his two bottom teeth to fall out....his permanent teeth have grown in behind them and our seven-year-old boy has shark teeth!

To celebrate Charlie, we invited 15 boys over for a Star Wars birthday party at our house. As always, Madeline and John were his extra special guests. It was fun that his actual birthday landed on Saturday this year! He woke up to a room full of balloons, as has become a birthday tradition, and of course, a singing candle on his stack of mini pancakes!
Receiving John's gift....
This kid reads his own cards now!
At 11am, the boys started pouring in. Kids from all over the world -- Belgium, Iceland, South Africa, Korea, Japan and Scotland, Luxembourg, Holland and the States. Each friend was immediately outfitted in a Jedi robe (no-sew tunics made out of IKEA fabric) and invited to color Star Wars coloring sheets. Our whole family got in on the action: Rob was a Jedi Master; Madeline, Bitsy and I dressed as Princess Leias; and naturally, John and Charlie were padawans.
We soon moved on to dangling donuts. Then we began the Jedi Academy and handed each child a Light Saber made out of pool noodles and a little Duct Tape. This part of the party was INSANE for us, and INSANELY FUN for the kids. The dueling Jedi Knights eventually had to be relieved of their weapons (to be handed back to them as parting gifts), and we lined everyone up on a piece of electrical tape running the length of the living room. We told the boys to use the Force to balance on one leg.....but that if they put the other foot down, they would be hit with Silly String. (When I saw the wet, sticky neon product all over the first floor, I quickly told the boys to collect as much as they could off the ground and make a Death Star. It worked! The boys scrambled around cleaned up the Silly String like it was a fun game and we saved the rugs).
The Princesses
Next up: Hutt dogs, Padawan popcorn, Yoda Soda and an R2D2 cake that was a particular highlight. The boys played hide and seek and Foosball while they waited for their parents to arrive. And we only lost one shelf-full of picture frames, which was amazing given the 18 swinging light sabers. The boys were wild, but sweet, and incredibly gentle with little Bitsy, who sat on the floor taking it all in.

Princess Leia Buns....
Charlie relaxed the rest of the afternoon, putting together his new Lego sets. That night, at his request, we made homemade pizzas and got the cake back out for the day's third rendition of Happy Birthday. And then we gave him his last gift: a pair of ski goggles with a note telling him that Rob would be taking him (and his siblings) skiing at Snowhall in France the next day! We gave him two more pair of ski goggles to give to Madeline and John. And boy, did they have fun!

What a day! What a weekend! What a BOY! We love you so much, Charlie!

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