Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yesterday was Toaster’s 11th birthday. His gifts, they were plentiful:

--An Andy Warhol poster
--A ripstick
--Many, many songs off iTunes
--some sort of Wii game that involves being in a band
--the day off school
--the day off school for two of his friends
--spending said day in 95 degree heat riding rollercoasters at Six Flags.

That last may sound like hell to most normal people, but to eleven-year-olds, it is apparently the Best. Day. EVER.

I am unable to ride even on the little kiddie rollercoasters, so I elected to go to work, Regina and John elected to go to work, and Dave won the superspecial prize of being escort to three crazy children. (I spent the day pitying him, but it turns out he had a grand old time—as well he ought to, I suppose. For one thing, he actually likes rollercoasters. And for another, Toaster was so freaking happy.)

When I was his age, birthdays really stressed me out. I actually requested that my parents no longer have birthday parties for me, as the attention and the pressure of having such high expectations of perfection usually resulted in me having a tantrum. So, instead, we would go to the beach, and then out to dinner, and I would feel special and have a good time, but not get overwhelmed. Fewer presents maybe, but overall a better birthday. I kinda feel like this was the same for Toaster—his last birthday party was actually fine, but he wasn’t so effervescently delighted as he was yesterday. Over dinner (the six of us went out to dinner) we all heard again and again and again about how you go so fast up Kingda Ka that you can’t close your eyes, and The Dark Knight was kind of lame, but the other dangling Batman ride was awesome. You turn all the way upside down with your feet dangling in the air! Superman was closed, but Nitro was the best it went on for half a mile!

As Dave finished putting the exhausted boy and his sister to bed, he said “Damn. I forgot to put stuff on Toaster’s lip. He hurt it--”

“On Kingda Ka, when it shot down so fast he couldn’t lift his head and he bit his lip and it bled,” I finished. “There is nothing that Toaster experienced today that I do not feel as though I lived it myself.”

Happy Birthday, kid.

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