I think for the first time ever since Buddy was born, my birthday took priority over his. Okay, that doesn't sound right. Kiddo birthdays are way more exciting than grown up ones, but still you only turn 40 once. After all the party prep for my amazing day, Buddy's party was relatively low key. They have kind of been low key for the last two years. I feel a pinch of sadness thinking that he's moving beyond this stage in his life, and knowing that one day he'll probably just celebrate with his friends instead of us, but so it goes.
He decided this year, he wanted to keep his party tiny. We always tell the kids to keep them small (invite the same number of kids as how old you are plus one). Buddy kept his even smaller than that and he said this year he enjoyed his party the most because he only had six friends around.
While normally we do something quite active, this year Buddy opted for something creative. Friends of ours (and the kids' art teacher) have opened an amazing new shop in Stanley Market called the Print House. It was the location of my Stanley Market Pop Up Shop a few weeks ago and is a hive of creative energy in the market. On Sundays, the boy has been volunteering there so that he can be surrounded by like minded creative people. He really loves going in and I love how inspired he is when he comes home. He'll draw up a storm after a session at the Print House.
So, how did it go with six sporty boys plus Buddy screen printing and designing shirts? It was loads of fun. They each tried their hand at screen printing and then all collaborated to do a little DIY original design which Leo and Matt exposed onto a silk screen for them. I loved to hear them all relying on Michael's guidance. What do we do, Michael? You're the artist, not us. How do you know so much about this? And I think he felt good about being in that position. It's not always easy being a boy like Buddy and feeling that it's okay to enjoy what he does. I was glad that for his party, he felt the confidence to be himself around his friends.
It's really why I want him to hang at the Print House, so that he can feel good knowing there are other guys like him and be okay with that.
Postlude: We just got Buddy's results back for the standardized tests they do in Middle School. His highest marks were for art and creativity. It makes my bosom swell with pride.
***More on the Print House in a post coming up.