As a kid, my birthdays were always awesome. I loved celebrating on the actual day and my mother tried her best to make sure that happened whenever it was possible. My most memorable parties were at Papa Gino’s, getting to help make the pizza in the kitchen and then, later, sleepover parties. (Never mind that we all got yelled at to be quiet and that someone — usually me — cried at some point during each one. What I remember mostly is the excitement leading up to it and the joy of having my friends around me.)
The Who’s birthdays are no exception. We plan his parties well in advance and we do our best to make sure they are great fun for him (with the one glaring exception of that horrible firehouse party. Friends tell me it wasn’t that bad, but all I remember is all the hungry children in the big, dim, sparsely decorated room, waiting for a very late pizza delivery as a surprise blizzard pummeled us outside.)
This year (as we have in several years past) we will celebrate his birthday at Thanksgiving with our extended family. He is designing his cake, right down to the very last detail, even though it means I will have to drive an hour to a specialty bakery to pick it up. We will celebrate his actual day the exact way he has suggested: brunch with family friends and then bowling with his cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents. The following week, we’ll gather up his closest pals and take them all to the movies.
He’s an only child, so I recognize that that often means he gets indulged more than he might if I had other siblings on which to spread my wealth (of time, attention, and actual money.) But there are still reasonable limits on a regular day. I wouldn’t be driving an hour out of my way to buy a $60 cake on any regular day just because he wanted it. But birthdays are the greatest days. They are the most awesome days. They are the ones you remember — at least they were for me. And this is one set of memories that I cherish so much that I would do almost anything to recreate for him.
Seven. The Who is about to be seven years old. What. The. Eff.