The Birthday Alternative

A little while ago, my wife hit on what she thought was a Brilliant Idea. Instead of having one birthday party for each boy, we’d have a family adventure.

It sounded great to me. I love adventures.

On Saturday, she pitched the idea to the boys. “Instead of having two parties,” she said, “we’ll take a family birthday trip. We’ll go to Busch Gardens and maybe Pirate Island. It’ll be three days of fun.”

Our oldest was immediately on board. He’s never been to Busch Gardens or Pirate Island, and he’s always up for an adventure. He started throwing out ideas like “maybe get some beach time in” and “discover new restaurants.”

He and my wife went back and forth, talking about all the things we could do.

“So,” my youngest interrupted, his face scrunched up with confusion. “We’re having a party but without any of our friends?”

His mom and brother looked at him in shock.

I laughed. Leave it to the little guy to cut through all the fluff.  “Pretty much,” I said, “but it’ll be really fun.”

My wife launched into an explanation of all the times that we’d be seeing their friends over the summer. There would be plenty of time to play. There just wouldn’t be any presents, and we don’t need any presenta anyway. We have lots of toys.

“No presents?” the little guy echoed.

“No,” my wife said, “because we’d just be playing. Like normal.”

“Yeah,” our oldest said. “Just like we always do.”

The conversation continued, with my wife and oldest talking about all the wonderful things that would happen on the birthday adventure.

I winked at my youngest, who was still looking a little dumbfounded. Over the next few minutes, he worked his way back into the conversation, and even seemed to get a bit excited about it.

Don’t be fooled, though.

I’m certain he’ll be bringing up the questionable merit of having a party without friends or presents. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up with both a party and an adventure.

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