The Spiderman Party
Okay, so we thought, since our son (first born of three sons) was crazy for Spiderman, it would be a natural to have that as the theme for his 4th birthday. So we set about buying and ordering the invitations, napkins, paper plates, you name it, everything had to have the Spiderman theme: including the gift prizes. We even found a woman who made specialty cakes in her home and she agreed to make a spectacular Spiderman cake.
Trust me. Besides that cake, there was red and blue everywhere: even the balloons.
Then we hired someone to come to our house to give pony rides to the twenty children at the party. We also bought our son a cowboy hat to wear as the first rider on the brown and white pony. (I have no idea how this related to Spiderman, but as parents of their first child, it sure seemed like a good idea to save our sanity rather than having all those 4 yr. olds running around going crazy for something to do.)
Games were played, while goodies were consumed from the picnic table in our backyard. The pony rides were out front on our street. We took pictures and presents were opened: one of which was a large figure of Spiderman from us. Spiderman and the pony were a hit. Our son thought his birthday was perfect and couldn’t get much better.
Ah, but as parents we knew better…
As a final surprise for our son, my husband snuck up and decorated his room. He draped webbing everywhere, even up in the corners and by the window with another smaller Spiderman caught up in it. When everyone had gone home, we brought our son upstairs for his “final birthday surprise.”
Well, our son was speechless as he stood at his bedroom door: his mouth hanging open. His eyes darted around nervously. His father then explained in an excited voice, “Wow! Spiderman must have visited your room for your birthday!”
Our son, eyeing all that webbing, froze to the spot, freaked out, started crying, and refused to enter his bedroom.
I knew that look…
No way, no how, was he moving one inch into his room to sleep or otherwise.
“The real Spiderman might come back while I’m sleeping!” he shrieked.
Note to parents: When planning a surprise, try to think through the eyes of your child before telling them that a superhero with superpowers visited their private domain.
I think our son would have tolerated that pony sleeping there a whole lot better.
Note to writers: Draw from past visuals of scenes and dialogue to inspire drama too.
…I remember the time we were tramping through the train station in Brussels on our way to Switzerland to ski. It was called Brussels Nord (also known as Gare du Nord or Noordstation). My 5 yr. old (middle one of three boys) was pulling small luggage on wheels and carrying his grandfather’s expensive camera around his neck. About every few seconds or so, I would turn around to count heads. Three boys and my husband and me. I had turned just before approaching the platform and our 5 yr. old had vanished! I had just done my count! We did find him in seconds, but you get the idea of what was about to take place, right? The frantic yelling (by me) the pandemonium. Imagine the visuals from a panic-stricken mother.
When telling a story I try to incorporate as much visuals and dialogue as I can so the reader can just picture it themselves. A writer should always remember: don’t tell the reader, show them, a rule I try to follow when writing my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series and when I wrote my personal memoir of fleeing from our home on the French Riviera during some devastating fires that swept through one summer, told from my point of view only.
Remember, everyday is a blessing! Treasure them.