Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lucas' Fourth - The Batman Birthday

I said I was going to write a post about Lucas' birthday, and I will- right now. After a crazy week of work that included one 4:30 AM bedtime, I have a little more time for this kind of thing.

But first, let me reflect on the importance of not waiting a week to write about something. My blog is littered with posts that didn't get finished, and therefore didn't get published. And you didn't read them. The immediacy goes away, and life, like the river it is, sweeps the subject away in the current, or maybe it's me that gets swept by as the event remains on the shore. My best posts pour out of me in the urgency I feel when something intense has happened, or something I feel strongly about is ringing about in my head. If I wait too long, I won't write about it.

So enough waxing poetic and let's talk kid's birthday parties. 'Parties' plural is accurate, because Lucas had two parties on the same day, same as last year. One at school, and one at home. Two cakes. Two birthday songs. Two sets of guests. Two everything.

I warned in an earlier post from this week that I was going to complain a bit as I wrote about the birthday- let me get that out of the way. My wife spent three entire days preparing for Lucas' birthday- not just her, but she had the help of one person for the entire time, and two others for one day apiece. That's eight full days of preparation for a four year old. Back when I was a kid, my mom made a cake and bought some ice cream and all our friends came over (or in my little brother's case, the friends were mostly mine) and we sang happy birthday and ate cake and ice cream and maybe we went sledding and maybe we went swimming and that was the end of that. Admittedly, there were generally a lot more presents at our parties than Lucas gets (not a bad thing I think), but it was not a herculean effort to put on the party. I still, even after almost seven years here, can't relate to the amount of time and effort, and money, that goes into putting on a party. When Evani did this on Lucas' first birthday, I freaked out. She explained that first birthdays are a big deal here, much bigger than other years. This is true, and I relented. And although that was the biggest birthday, my feeling is that the following three birthdays have been far bigger than they needed to be.

Okay, enough about that. I wanted to talk about Lucas. I believe I've mentioned before on this blog that themed birthdays are a big deal here. It's The Incredibles or Power Rangers or Hello Kitty or in Lucas' case this year, it was Batman. It occurs to me that I've never seen the paraphernalia for a Woody Woodpecker birthday party, which is a surprise since he's so popular here. Last year it was Superman, this year Batman, and he's already put in for next year's theme- Spider Man.

So we went out and bought Batman cups. And party hats. And napkins. Well, not napkins. Not this year. But there were Batman cutouts to tape on the wall. And a special Batman candle. And of course two Batman cakes.

But most important of all was the Batman outfit. Lucas loves to wear costumes, and he'd been bugging me for weeks about his Batman costume. For some reason, he got it in his head that his Grammy was going to give him this outfit and we were going to go to her house to get it. Seeing as how Grammy lives a couple thousand miles away in Massachusetts this was logistically impractical, but that's hard to explain to a four year old. He practically did a back flip when I pulled out the costume on Monday morning. He doesn't want to take it off and probably won't for weeks yet.

In addition to all the aforementioned stuff there were also hundreds of tiny, bite-sized sweet things and tiny, bite-sized fried things. And baked things. That's what took all the preparation. Little kibes and empanados and pĆ£ozinhos and cochinhas and white chocolate goodies with raisins in them and milk chocolate goodies with prunes in them and who knows what else. I have to admit they were all quite delicious.

I'm going to spare you all the details of the events. It's late and I'm tired and some things have to remain private from the blogosphere. However, here are the highlights, as seen through a doting father's eyes:

  • Watching all 25 of Lucas' classmates line up to give him a hug for his birthday.
  • Hearing Lucas' teacher say how impressed she was that Lucas was being so generous with all the birthday stuff- apparently at the last birthday, the birthday boy kept crying whenever his dad tried to give something to the other kids
  • Seeing Lucas thank his mom and give her a big hug for all the work she did for his birthday.
  • Watching Lucas almost do a second backflip when he got his big present- a brand new Hot Wheels bicycle complete with training wheels!
  • Most importantly, seeing Lucas enjoy himself thoroughly.

Finally, I'm going to leave you with the Brazilian birthday song, which differs greatly from our version and has regional differences as well. This one is from the school party- you can see that we aren't sure how many times to sing each verse:

Happy Birthday Batman!!


Jesse said...

great post! happy birthday Lucas!
I love the cake and the costume- very cool.

michelle said...

Woody Woodpecker still exists? Seriously?
I think the theme for Rosa's birthday party this year will be "Ideas stolen from other people's blogs and half assedly thrown together at the last minute... "
God, look at how grown up Lucas is! Not to gush, but he is one handsome lad! I Looooove the Batman costume!!! Almost all of my favorite student's over the last couple of years went through a hardcore Batman phase. Once that costume goes on, it doesn't come off without a fight;)
Happy birthday to Lucas, and happy fourth year of parenting to you!

Mei said...

I thought it was so cool that Evani put a ton of effort into party planning. My b-days were similar to yours when I was growing up, and I still thought they were really good!

AkuTyger said...

Happy Birthday Lucas! Ju will turn 4 on the 1st - maybe then we will finally meet.

markuza said...

Thanks everyone! It was a good birthday indeed. And Michelle- Woody Woodpecker is on TV here every night, during prime time.

Pedra said...

That Happy Birthday video is the cutest thing EVER!!!! Glad you had fun and the costume rocks :)