This is the birthday season for our family. Planning parties, school treats and thank you notes is just a part of our lives each spring. Until our kids are school age, we don’t really plan parties with friends for them, we just do a family celebration with cake, balloons, streamers and plenty of sprinkles.
But, being the softie that I am, I asked our 3 (almost 4) year old if he wanted to have two families over for dinner that we spend a lot of time with. Sounded fun, I thought. All the kids play, all the parents eat and have a drink.
No, this little dude had a completely different idea. “I want Steve, Maurice and Milo to come over and eat cake with me.” Who are Steve, Maurice and Milo, you ask? Our neighbors. They live in the three houses next to us on the cul-de-sac and are all in their 60s.
They are the kind of neighbors that always have their garage doors open and are working on a project. As we walk past each morning on the way to the bus stop, my little dude pops into each one. Hi Maurice! Hi Milo! Steve we see after work every day. Hi Steve!
Milo and Maurice came over one day to fix our garage door in exchange for Girl Scout Cookies. Men that work for Samoas, these are the kind of neighbors I like to have in my life.
Sometimes they let my little dude pound a nail or do some sanding, but usually they just talk to him. They let him visit and show him their tools, teach him not to walk under ladders or remind him not to throw rocks at his sister and other useful life lessons.
And so we made some dinosaur invitations which he delivered by himself; ringing doorbells he can reach now is a big deal.
And on the night of the big event, all three of them (and one wonderful wife) arrived, ready and willing to eat confetti cake topped with confetti ice cream. We had a fun evening of laughs, candles and neighborhood news. Because when you turn 4 and you really know what you want every moment of the day, confetti cake, confetti ice cream and best neighbor friends are just what a boy needs.
And here they are. My little dude with his party guests: