Monday, November 15, 2010

A Birthday; Monks Style

The average kids birthday party around these parts ranges from about $300-$500. So while I feel our house is a nice size, I have always ended up paying somewhere around this much money for the Monks' late November birthdays, as I was never quite sure what would happen to my house with 12-15 young boys running about. You can imagine! After his birthday last year, we realized that this is a tough time of the year for people, what with holidays, travel + just getting sick. We thought to ourselves, "the Monks still has a huge family birthday closer to the actual "BDay"...", what if we just spent all that kid party money for my Mister + I to take him on a really great day trip to NYC? And so we did! I must confess, this adventure was not without hurdles. There has been a tummy bug afoot, that hit my Mister + the Monks on saturday night! Part of the Monks' gift was to see The Lion King on Broadway. He was in tears when he thought that he would not be able to go on his special day; it was heartbreaking! The tickets were had + it was only by some miracle that my guys felt well enough {by a bit} to set off on our day anyway.

Illness was not the only hurdle though. NoooOoo! My Mister had to stop at the ever so cool Stumptown; a coffee place in the Ace Hotel. Upon arrival, I chuckled a bit; it was hipster central. Although I had to admit, it was really cool + the coffee rocked. The Monks' got a hot chocolate and all was right with the world...until we saw a meter maid at our car giving us a ticket. Yes, my Mister thinking this would be a "quick stop", arrogantly parked too close to a hydrant. I hope he enjoyed his $100 coffee...

My poor Mister was all apologies + we were determined to not let this sour our day...until we hit traffic...and more traffic on our way to the theatre. As I watched the minutes tick by on the clock I thought, "we aren't going to make it to the show on time!" Livid does not even begin to describe how I was feeling. At about 43rd and 5th, I took 2 of the 3 tickets + the Monks and he and I ran the 3 blocks, through Times Square to the theatre while my Mister parked. I had no idea if he would make it in time...but at that point, all I could think of was that damn coffee trip + my poor little man having to run through NYC feeling sicky.

But we made it! All of us made it! The Monks loved The Lion King; and c'mon, how can you not feel flooded with good feelings after a Broadway show? I was so grateful; that we made it there inspite of all the obstacles. When we left the show it was as if a wave of calm had come and washed away the stress of the morning..

We made a little trip over to the huge Lego store + through Rockefeller Center...which was actually, probably a bit more chaotic that the Monks {or I} was feeling up to, but he was still excited and picked out his birthday gift: a big Harry Potter Lego set...

And then we headed over to a fun restaurant called Mars 2112. The birthday boy opted to have some vanilla icecream for dinner {hey, it was his day, right?} and I'd have to say that our dinners were pretty good...then again, we really hadn't eaten all day, so I probably could have eaten a $15 ketchup sandwich and been ok with it. Then, we sat in took us 2 hours to get home from NYC instead of the usual 1 hour + a bit. But I was happy that the Monks was able to sleep, holding his box of Harry Potter Legos on his lap. So while the day was a bit of a sh*t show...I thought, "hey, what kids birthday isn't a little chaotic?" I think the Monks had a truly wonderful day; hopefully the kind of day that is so full of fun that you remember it always. The bigger point though, was that as parents of 3, we were able to spend the day with our biggest boy, doing all kinds of wonderful things with just him. That alone was a gift in of itself...for me anyway.


But I swear people, between me being sick for my birthday when we went to see Phantom + this half ill trip to see The Lion King....everyone better be healthy as horses when we see the Nutcracker Ballet in December!!

So what kind of non traditional things do you do to celebrate birthdays?


  1. It sounded like a memorable day anyway! We always give each kid the choice between a "friend" party (like bowling etc) or a fun family trip (like the Boston children's museum). Its been about half/ half so far.

  2. Honestly, you've described perfectly every. single. arrival at a Broadway show, for me. Even when I get back to the hotel hours early, to avoid the run through Times Square, even when I plan ahead and get a cab, even when I think I know exactly where I'm going....every single time there's a sincere "We aren't going to make it on time" sickness. And I am NOT a panicky person. And then, like you, the magic of Broadway makes me forget it. And the blisters my pretty shoes have created, from my sprinting. Good for you for braving all that, and GREAT for you for making the day all about your boy - I was the eldest too, and the young'uns were always around!!! Nice job!

  3. Sounds like a great trip, and I'm sure he will always remember this birthday!


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