Sunday, January 29, 2012

What...Another birthday?

It's Sunday afternoon and we can now call the boy's birthday weekend officially over.

Sean is now 16. The years have sped by faster than an unleashed greyhound chasing a fleeing poodle. It seems like only a few days ago that it was Day 1 at the hospital: my arms were outstretched and my hands clasped that alien-like person---his tiny fists were clenched, his bottom lip pouted and he was wailing at the top of his lungs. 'V' was recovering from the 23 hour delivery. She managed a pained smile and whispered, "He's lovely, now take him back to the nursery."

His actual birthday was during the week (mid-term exams here) so we deferred celebration until the weekend. A late January birthday here limits the possible activities. They tend to be indoor celebrations. For instance, last year we took him and three of his friends to dinner and a movie at the mall (they got to sit at their own table to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with us in public---I suppose it may have been the fez...). A couple of his friends have opted for 'Sweet 16' parties in the basements of their homes. Sean wouldn't have that as he knows perfectly well that he lost most of his sweetness by the age of 10.

Christmas dinner this past year was held at my parent's house, so we did not get a chance to cook a turkey at home. And the last time we DID host a large meal, the numbers were too big to break out the china and silverware (a setting for 8 people).

As I have mentioned before at this blog, my son seems to walk to the beat of a different drummer. He decided this year that he would like to celebrate his birthday by having some of the b'ys over for a turkey dinner served up on the Royal Albert China with silverware and, if I may be allowed a cliche, "the whole nine yards." The photo below shows the Saturday night setting before the boys moved in for the kill. For those keeping score at home, the pattern on the china is 'Brigadoon'.

We were going to put out one extra setting in case the Queen dropped by...
  As it turns out, only two of Sean's guy-friends managed to attend the fancy dinner. I told the boy that perhaps the other boy's tuxedos were not clean from their previous dining experiences and they were too embarrassed to 'dress down' for this occasion. We hosted a few more boys on the Friday night with a couple of take out pizzas and a movie in the family room that is normally out of bounds to the teenage species (they have their own recreational area in the basement). Pizza was by Boston Pizza (I mention this only in case someone from that fine organization reads this and throws a freebie our way).

The more casual Friday soiree was also a bit of an odd occasion as there were firearms (pellet rifles) being used downstairs. They have a 'firing range' set up  in the crawlspace that can be accessed from the basement and amused themselves with a bit of target practice prior to dining. For the record--we are not negligent people. The only reason we let the boys get into this at all is the fact that most of them are sea cadets and have training in the use of the pellet rifles at the base.

'V' was given a bit of instruction in cake decorating a while back and did her own cake and cupcakes (see photos  below). I must say, that was the highlight of the weekend for me. Sean had a four hour drill practice with the cadets today so we rushed together some bacon and eggs for brunch. This is one of those rare occasions that I'm allowed to pollute my arteries with cholesterol (I only hope that my physician does not stumble across this blog).

Only 16 candles. I can't remember back that far

They all tasted like mint (umm...I didn't eat ALL of them...)

And in closing I must shout out the praises of 'V' who did an excellent job with the sacrifice of the bird, the baking of the tasties and for showing bravery above and beyond the call of duty by taking the boy out in search of a suitable birthday gift. His early attempts at getting a car or a recreational boat were denied. We may be stupid, but we're not crazy. We settled on a technical gadget thingy to aid with his computer fun. It looks like it should fly. And at THAT price it should serve me single malts and whisk me away somewhere warmer for a vacation...


Mark Kerstetter said...

Hey Alan, that's a nifty looking cake. Love the alternating starbursts and dots on the sides.

Sue H said...

Ah - the joys of parenting teens! ;-p

Marvellous cakes - and a very fine table setting, too!
Quite right to withold vehicular presents - although, perhaps the lad would like his very own fez..... ;-p

Gigi said...

Just WHERE did the time go? It was only yesterday that I had a newborn too. *sigh*

Happy birthday to your son! And yeah, don't get him a car. They tend to wreck them.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Laughed out loud at this: (they got to sit at their own table to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with us in public---I suppose it may have been the fez...)

The cakes look gorgeous and delicious and I bet that turkey was absolutely yummy.

Hey, I remember that table - THAT's the table where I had the WORLD'S BEST CHEESECAKE, some mighty fine Irish soda bread and I do believe it was orange soup (I want to say carrot but I do remember it was some kind of delectable orange-coloured appetizer). And the company was terrific.
Happy Birthday, Sean! I cannot BELIEVE you're 16. I can hardly wait to hear your father's accounts of teaching you how to drive. I'm positive there will be much coffee snorted through my nose!

Laurita said...

How classy your boy is. He must get it from his mother. (I kid! I kid because I love.) Speaking of V, that cake looks fab. Almost a shame to eat it, it's so pretty.

Happy sixteenth to Sean.

Anthony Venutolo said...

Happy birthday to Sean!! My lil guy is barely 4 ... I have a loooooooong way to go. I may need your fez.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm late to the party (literally). Happy birthday to the boy, and he does have a brilliant way to celebrate! I love the tablescape, as they say. The cake is gorgeous--I wish I could reach into the computer screen and take it out to eat, like the candy bar sent via TV in the old Willy Wonka movie.

Kleinste Motte said...

A happy 16th to sonny boy and to all the family too! A cadet eh? I have a daughter who was in 351 Air Cadets and I believe there's still competition among the three;air ,land and sea. Still it's great for those who join and enjoy it!
Super work done by V too.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Mark- The rosebuds on top (16 of) are of course the number of years and I think the starburst and dots are meant to compliment those. Unless V had a deeper symbolism that I'm not aware of...

Sue- Perhaps I could start him in a 'junior fez' for safety reasons, just until he gets his sea legs.

Gigi- Yeah, I can't believe how fast he's grown up. I was thinking of YOUR son when I said no to least until we've reached a certain level of maturity.

Cathy- You are correct. That WAS where you had the world's greatest cheesecake. BTW, the annual Cheesecake party is this weekend (with prof. Larry) but we will have to pass becuase we have hockey tickets. I'm sure my doctor would be pleased.

Laurita- You wouldn't believe how fast a group of 16 year old boys can go through pizza and nicely decorated cakes.

Ant- The years will whiz by, I'm sure. And I'll bet that your boy will be a fedora kinda guy.

Kate- 'Tablescape'...Har, never heard that expression before. Have filed it away for future use...The Willy Wonka chocolate theory WOULD be great (though I think that I'd be reaching through the screen for juicy steaks and stacks of money).

Kleinste- Many thanks! Nice to see a new face at Land's Edge. My son has been loving cadets (166 Fort Townschend)and plans on joining the navy after finishing school.

And there certainly is a rivalry between the air, army, and sea cadets. Sean was in Gagetown last summer and noticed the difference between there and Cornwallis.

Entre Nous said...

Okay, Gotta LOVE 'V.'

After my son was born the nurse pranced into the room with him chirping, "Time for your new baby's feeding...., " with one of those perky lobe to lobe smiles. I half opened my eyes at the screaming wonder I had created, sighed heavily and replied, "I have a two year old daughter at home, feed him bread and water, I need to rest Thank You."

The nurses station laughed for days over it. Yes, that was back in the ancient days when they held respect for women who had just had half their guts fall out and allowed us to stay in the hospital while being waited on hand and foot for at least seven days. *sigh*

When my daughter had her son and they were boooting her out and home after three days she wailed, "You cannot do this to me, I am STILL EXHAUSTED.'

Despite still not being quite over the trauma we do love our children :}