Wesley is having a birthday party.
At school. Tomorrow. He will be 8 years old on Sunday and they are going to party.
They sent home a note to the parents of the kids in his group that a special lunch will be provided and that there will be treats. As my mother told me this during our phone chat, I could hear him giggling in the background. A birthday party with his crew of little pals. Treats. Hopefully some puzzles.
My darling Wesley adores puzzles.
When I was 6 or 7, my mom planned a birthday party for me at the Brigus Firehall/ Community Centre.
The excitement was unbearable.
That day I woke up from my slumber in my polka dot linen nightdress and chiffon robe. I loved this night ensemble so much that I insisted on wearing it every single night. My mother spent a lot of time doing laundry for a child who was basically mirroring the bedtime habits of an aging Zsa Zsa Gabor. I dressed for school and applied my favorite plastic toy lipstick. I can still remember the smell of the plastic toy lipstick and have never smelled anything like it since. I love memory smells. A scent that completely defines a moment in your life and takes you right back there. Favorite memory smells for me are those of Golden Books and Musty Polyester. The former smell places me in my mothers living room, reading my stories and playing with Mr. Potato Head. The latter transports me to Garfield Ralphs, a general store in South River that housed fishing tackle and Communion dresses. The attic had racks of old clothes from the 60s and 70s, and it became my very favorite place to shop in high school. My very favorite place.
But pardon me as I digress.
I went to school that day and suffered through with valour, as each moment that passed brought me closer to my birthday party. The sun was still shining when we arrived at the hall to set up. And then the kids rolled in.
Party. Party. Party.
We danced with no shoes on. We ate hot dogs. We ate burgers. We ate coleslaw.
I know it may be odd that 7 year olds were having coleslaw at the birthday party, but it was my favorite food at the time. Had I not discovered Curried Singapore Noodles, Oysters and Duck Confit Ravioli in the years that followed, it would still be high up there. But at the time, and with my sophisticated palate, Coleslaw was my requested birthday dish.
We played tag. One kid slipped and cried. One kid hit another kid with a giant piece of bristle board and both kids cried. Ryan Gushue gave me a Popple that was a prized possession until University, when it became a parting gift to my roommate Lindy when she moved back to Toronto. At the time, I never thought that I would live in Toronto, too. I sometimes forget that Popple and I now live in the same city.
It was the best birthday. At the time. But I guess every birthday is the best birthday if you eat your favourite food and dance with no shoes on.
I am so excited for Wesley. I am so very, very excited.
Happy Birthday DJ Fresh Wes xoxo