Is it possible that you have only been with us for three years? I watch the slideshow of baby photos that kicks on when our AppleTV is on pause and can’t believe you were ever so tiny. I want to grab each photo and hold it, stare at it and remember each moment that still slips through my fingers. People always ask me, “How’s your baby?” You’re not a baby any more, little one. A boy. Riding your scooter around the kitchen island. Learning new tricks on your basement trampoline. Memorizing the moves to “This is Halloween” on Just Dance II.
And talking. Talking, talking, talking. Something has happened over the last couple of months. You are processing information differently and I can see you thinking through a conversation. Coming up with your own conclusions and often getting them right. You are becoming a person.
Of course we had to celebrate the big day in style, with both sides of the family and the Saunders – our adopted family. You are getting old enough that you understand and can get excited about a party so I went with a theme this time. I wouldn’t say that you necessarily LOVE just one thing right now – you like lots of things. Dinosaurs. Anything with wheels. Anything that involves a ball. Trains.
After coming across the vintage comic book party done by Hostess with the Mostess, I was sold. I know how long it takes to design all those bits and pieces that make a party pop, so I opted to purchase andersandruff’s party pack of printables. Trust me, there was enough DIY involved without having to start it all from scratch (like the Super Wreath I made for the front door). Cole, you caught on fast as I went shopping for superhero capes for the little cousins and the fun started there. You were my right-hand-man every step of the way, usually hauling out the scotch tape dispenser and safety scissors to accomplish your task.
You helped me order the capes – telling me the whole time that you were going to have pink. We steered you to the blue simply because we knew that cousin Claire would have a meltdown if she didn’t get the pink one like the other girls. I used my brand new Silhouette Cameo to monogram the back of each cape (already in love with my Cameo – more on that another day) and we ordered superhero masks to match.
You were very generous with the tape as we turned Melissa and Doug blocks into buildings to create a skyline. And then the balloons. You stuck with it as we pumped up 60 balloons and tied them to a ribbon to string across the ceiling. No wandering off the job for you! I have to keep reminding myself that being able to focus is a great quality….even when that means my tasks take twice as long as your attention span refuses to wither. I find myself sneaking around the house, quietly opening the dryer door if I’m in a hurry so that you won’t hear me folding laundry and want to come help. I love your help. Really, I do. It’s just that sometimes we need to chop! chop! get the job done fast! And by fast, this mother of a three-year-old has learned actually means, “in secret.”
We used butcher paper as the table cloths and added some black and white images for people to color if they chose while hanging around. Then I found a school teacher website that made instant word searches and crossword puzzles with any words you choose! So, I stuck some of those activities to the butcher paper as well, knowing that the tweens and teens would like figuring out what your favorite snack is or how long your mother was in labor.
The photo backdrop was my favorite part of the party – I fell in love the instant I saw it on Hostess with the Mostess. I covered a huge sheet of foam board in fabric, covered the top section in wrapping paper and added the superhero logo. I used duct tape the day of to attach the pieces together because I know that this background is definitely something that I will be using in the future and wanted to make it as adaptable as I could. I think every event needs a fun photo booth instead of the blah walls or same-old background that we always see in our house. This is a keeper.
I turned back time and served my grandparents’ recipe for “Band Booster Hamburgers,” which are simply grilled burgers simmered in yummy sauce before you add all the fixin’s. Why are they called “Band Boosters?” Because it’s what they served as boosters for all the fundraisers at the school when my mom was growing up – marching band, sports teams, you name it. You can call them whatever you want but in our family, they are “Band Boosters.”
Add some salads and appetizers from family members, an array of cupcakes from the local Sweet Tooth Fairy shop, and some of your favorite treats like mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate covered pomegranates (Sam’s Club), and ice cream with sprinkles, and we had a full spread fit for the crowd. I added my personal favorite of chocolate covered raspberries (also found at Sam’s Club) so that everyone could oooh and ahhhh at the juicy scrumptousness that happens when you bite into one of those. Be sure to let them sit out for about 20 minutes for maximum yum.
You loved every minute of it, Cole. Blowing out the candles. Singing yourself, “Happy Birthday.” Playing in your new tent with the tunnel – and the flashlight to go with it. It doesn’t take much to please you as long as you are surrounded by adoring fans. No, I won’t do it every year – too much work. But it was fun to have the energy and the desire to “go the distance” this time and make a real party out of your day.
You are loved. Greatly. Abundantly. Fiercely. And aren’t we all lucky to be a part of the Super Cole show?