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...|
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...