I never really thought we'd be entering the "friends" birthday party phase at age four. With the exception of the first birthdays (for which I did have a party), I thought we were in the clear until at least five or six. But once KJ entered preschool the birthday party invitations just kept coming. And he had so much fun at them. I had to let him have one of his own.
But then I looked into how much birthday parties cost. Boy, that was an eye opener. The typical party KJ was attending cost parents over $300. All of the parties were nice, don't get me wrong. But $300 is a lot of money. And really, was he going to remember his fourth birthday party?
As it turns out, KJ was born just days after his best-friend-forever Gabi. KJ and Gabi have been inseparable since they were four months old. They started out in the same infant room, and before they could even crawl, they used to roll around the room to try to get near each other. As they've grown, they've moved through toddlers, and twos and now preschool together. They truly are the best of friends -- so much so that even the daycare coordinator has commented on the strength of their friendship. And Gabi is a wonderful girl. She's nice, well-mannered and just an all-around good kid. KJ couldn't have picked a better friend. When Gabi's mom and I figured out their birthdays were so close, we just knew a joint party was the answer.
And so it was. We had the party at a splash pad, and invited most of their friends and their friend's families. Since neither I nor Gabi's mom work with the other moms, it was great to meet the other families and really get to know the kids. And our own kids had a blast. They truly loved sharing their special day together. And I loved getting to know the family of the girl that is so important to KJ. Given that every single family stayed after we were kicked out of the party room, I know the party was a success. But the most telling sign of success was the smile on KJ's face.
Happy fourth birthday, KJ. You are an amazing guy!