Luke attends his first birthday party

Today was M’s (a hiking buddy) 4th birthday, and it was the first time Luke had been invited to a real birthday party, and he behaved exceptionally well for an almost 3 year old. Jack, Luke and I started the day early by stopping off at Target on the way to the party for a gift for M (why do I never buy gifts in advance?). We went straight to the Lego aisle of course, and Luke picked out a Lego set of a fire truck that he seemed sure that M would enjoy. A quick stop to get some wrapping paper and tape, and off to the car to try and wrap the box in the front seat, while Jack worked on curling the ribbon I had remembered to bring to make a pretty pile of ribbon. Off to the party…

M’s parents had set up at a local park (very new, so no shade trees on this unseasonably hot day), and the biggest attraction was the sand pit, which had a water fountain and some big boulders, so that the kids could make interesting sand creations.I had brought Luke’s sand toys so they had dump trucks, cars, and even a Playmobil boat which floated very well in the kid-made lake. After about 30 minutes, the kids from the party had drawn in the kids who were playing at the park to form this large group of kids ranging in age from 3 to 9 who were happily working together to make sand structures, with no fighting or jostling for position. It truly was a wonderful thing to see. Luke loved it, and just went from the water fountain to the little lake, watching what the big kids were making and carrying more water for the lake. The wall gave way and all of the water flowed through into the drier sand, which caused a cry of dismay, but the kids just got to work making another one.

Once the food was grilled and M’s mom was realizing she didn’t have a lot of time left, she called all of the kids over to the table for a quick lunch, and then cake and presents. When Luke realized that M was carrying our present, he ran over to watch M open it, and when it was half opened, he started to tell M all about the Lego fire truck and what M could do while playing with it. I was a little worried that Luke would be upset that M couldn’t start playing with it right then and there, or even that he couldn’t take it home, but he spent the rest of the time just watching presents being opened and looking intently at the more interesting ones (a Batman doll – ooh). He certainly didn’t want to leave the party, but Jack and I had to be on time for a safety talk for a tidepooling field trip we’re taking next week, so off we went. Now when I talk about Luke’s birthday coming up, he knows exactly what I’m talking about!

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