I have never been the Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party mother, anyway.
N. was never thrilled about the noise and confusion of those kind of birthday parties to begin with, and when he attended such celebrations for other kids, he usually wanted to be taken home early.
Anyway, my home-made lasagna beats pizza parlor cooking hands down.
And leftovers are a beautiful thing.
So I spent the afternoon cooking, and since N. invited MLC's boyfriend, and A. was still with us, we had a full table.
My Challah was a hit!
We don't cut the Challah with a knife on Shabbat. Rather, everyone holds the Challah while the blessing is said, and then we become "holy tearers." (The picture is the second go-around on the Challah. I was flattered).
The reward of an afternoon cooking--I enjoyed many compliments on my cooking. The greatest compliment of all, though, was that almost everyone wanted seconds.
Then it was time for the cake.
We cheat a little, and have the cake complete with candles, even on Shabbat. Fourteen candles makes quite a blaze!
We are hopelessly old fashioned. We go for the full number of candles, instead of the candle-numbers. If the birthday kid is under 18, we include "one to grow on!"
He moved when I snapped this one, but look at the smoke from all those candles.
N. was really into celebrating fourteen trips around the sun. He has now experienced fourteen examples of each season. And he has seen some other cool things--like comets, meteor showers, and lunar eclipses.
I am having a hard time believing that my bouncing baby boy is becoming a young man. Yikes--as my friend Steph said.
Of course, there were presents.
Two that N. specifically requested were a Taekwondo headband and a dragon necklace.
Here, his helpful older sister tied the knot.
He also got two books, a T-shirt, and a bookstore gift certificate. And MLC's boyfriend gave him a bag of sweets and treats.
It was a very good birthday celebration. Last year, his birthday was overshadowed by his Bar Mitzvah. This year, we were back to our usual mode of celebration. It's probably a bit tame for some tastes. It is not the birthday extravaganza to outdo the Jones.
This kind of birthday works for us, though. I think N. gets more of what he wants: adult attention, fun conversation, and good food that he likes. And the atmosphere does not over-tax his senses.
We don't know the Jones anyway.