Julian duck-duck-goosed his way into pre-pre-pre teendom with 60 guests from his class and neighborhood, two separate SpongeBob birthday cakes and a full range of alcoholic drinks for the parents.
Also, Julian and his guests enjoyed a full-sized bounce house, one of those inflatable rooms that kids jump around in at carnivals and school fairs. I planned to include it in the list of birthday excesses detailed earlier, until Bridget pointed out that I spent more time bouncing than any of the kids.
I couldn't help it. It made my stomach feel funny.
Friends and family know that Bridget's preoccupation with celebrations doesn't stop at birthday parties either. We put up two Christmas trees every year. Bridget picks a theme for one and I pick a theme for the other. This year, for instance, one of the trees (Bridget's) will use Herbie the Dentist and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as metaphors for man's alienation from society. My tree's theme will be, uh, candy canes.
Bridget's obsession is not just wearing me down. Gabriel's ninth birthday is coming up and Bridget talked with him about the party as we set the table for dinner.
"So, Gabriel, how many kids are you inviting to your birthday party?"
Gabriel shrugged. "I don't know, maybe five. I don't have a lot of friends."
"Well, honey, you've got a month to make some more friends. Get on it."
Gabriel looked to me for sympathy, but I couldn't help him. I've seen the party budget that Bridget prepared and there's no way we're gonna be able to justify the bounce house for just five kids.