Over Christmas and throughout the chilly month of January I checked Facebook from time to time and couldn't help but notice the frequent posts of a friend who had picked up his family and moved to the coast of Southern California for a month. He posted regularly about their adventures and made us all extremely jealous. One of the best adventures he wrote about was that of the single gift his children received for Christmas: Nerf guns. The family spent hours romping after each other, tucking and rolling, dodging and giggling, enjoying every moment of their joyful happy family time. It gave me an idea.....
......for my husband's birthday. Which was on Sunday. I thought our family could have similar bonding and joy and I was really excited. Up until the moment he opened them. Actually I didn't feel that great as I was buying them either. Somehow I could sense that this might not be a great idea. That a possibility of disaster lurked beneath the vivid green plastic Nerf-ness.
So, at the end of a lovely birthday weekend for my dear husband which involved way too much Chinese food and a viewing of Warm Bodies, (the cutest zombie romance out there), we had a family dinner for Troy on Sunday evening. I made his favorite meatballs, a recipe which I inherited from his mother at my first bridal shower with the assurance that they were one of my husband-to-be's favorite dishes. It's true. Fifteen years after our wedding he still gets really happy when I make them and they often are the requested meal for any given special dinner. I made a seriously awesome chocolate cake topped with this great non-powdered-sugar frosting I learned about. So good. Very fluffy. I even let Bundle shove candles haphazardly all over the cake just for good birthday-wish measure. All was well. But deep inside I could feel the moment coming - the "this may have been a terrible mistake to purchase four pump-action Nerf guns" moment. Especially with two sets of grandparents watching.
Now, do not fear, Troy received other gifts for his birthday including a subscription to a magazine called The Overland Journal which basically taps him into his dream life. He got other good stuff too, but I knew the kids wanted to give him something and this is what I came up with. The moment came. He opened his packages and got a little quiet. I think he could sense the possibilities. Possible super fun with his kids and possible disaster. The kids were pretty dang excited and a battle broke out almost immediately, and only one kid almost lost an eye in the first five minutes. (Stomper. Bitty has either really good or really bad aim.) Troy and I began declaring rules loudly and quickly. And actually, once the initial chaos subsided it really was fun. We set up a target of a pyramid of plastic cups and the kids were delighted by their successful shots. You should have heard Bundle's elated "YESSSSSS!!" complete with fist pump every time she hit a cup. I felt better. I think we can actually have some fun with these things.
Now I am not saying that we have forever averted any trauma but we are off to a good start.
Happy Birthday, Troy.