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10.31.2010

Hickory, Dickory, Doc

I took Doc to a birthday/costume party today. Buddy would have gone but he was at Tio’s last football game. I don’t remember if I’d ever been to a 5 year old’s birthday party. Quite the event. Fourteen kindergarteners decked out in costume all stuffed together in a bunch. At first Doc did an impression of a tumor attached to my leg until he finally felt comfortable enough to break free. It took a party game where we wrapped the kids up like mummy’s in toilet paper. After that he forgot all about me and they all ran around with icing on their lips and candy corn on their breaths, playing games and having a ball. The parents on the other hand stared silently at each other like we were all in high school detention. At one point I threw out, “Is everybody ready for the election next Tuesday?” Cricket. Cricket. Cricket. Oops.

Well, the kids had a great time. I was surprised it went so smoothly. Sure, the usual traumas bubbled up. Scrapes, bruised egos, and sulking kids who couldn’t understand why they weren’t the center of attention. But it was minimal. I guess it helped that the hostess was a teacher at their school. After cupcakes and punch they got herded together for a group photo. A vampire, the grim reaper, ninjas, superheroes, witches, and even a lego block, crammed up on the sectional, all looking in one direction, and even look at the camera. But getting a group smile out of everyone at once? Not a chance. “Cheese” and “Happy Halloween” didn’t do it. Finally, someone shouted out “I see Paris I see France, I see purple underpants” and everyone laughed. Doc came away with a goody bag, prizes, and all the punch and cookies he could swallow. It was nice to see him have a good time with friends.

It always amazes me to see that no matter how young they are, there’s still a fully thinking person in there with all the complexities and needs that adults have. They just depend on someone else to supply them and see the complications through an unfocused lens. In a peer to peer group setting like this, they drop the pretense of trying to figure out what’s over their heads and use their own senses with each other. You see the reflection of how their parents and their personalities prepare them. Some can’t cope and back away, some watch from the sides, and some draw attention to themselves. It would be interesting to match the kid to the parent without anything but observing the child with kids and the parent with adults.

I wonder sometimes who has the better view of reality.