The Presence of Presents


Friday was Boo-Boo’s 7th birthday, and it was her wish that we have a party for her. Initially she wanted it at Chuck E. Cheese (unaffectionately known to me and my husband as Chuck and Cheese) but I managed to talk her into going instead to Bloomsbury Farm. This is a nice farm. They have a corn maze: last year it was shaped like a biplane in honor of the Wright Brothers, and this year its shaped like Willie Nelson. The farm also has a huge playground, a hay pile to jump in, tires to climb on, hayrides, a haunted barn, a snack bar with large, clean bathrooms, and a petting zoo with a “goat walk”, which is a complicated thingamabob with towers, conveyor belts and pulleys that the goats can climb. If you put food in the tin cup attached to the conveyor and crank it to the top of the tower, the goats will climb up and eat. This is incredibly cool and fascinating to a bunch of first graders (11 in fact, including Boo-Boo) but each handful of grain costs 25 cents so its a good thing I’d gotten a roll of quarters. Kids LOVE to feed goats.

I have to admit, we had a good time, even though it was cloudy, cold and windier than a politician making a stump speech a week before an election. The kids ran, jumped, played, squealed (even the 4 boys that came) and got their pictures taken multiple times in those “stick your faces in the painted plywood frame” thingies. They were more interested in giving Boo her presents (and seeing who gave her what) than eating. We threw out more cupcakes than they ate, which aggravated my husband, but oh well. There were plenty of cupcakes left over for him anyway. Some of the kids were brave enough to accompany my husband through the haunted barn (multiple times) while the rest stayed with me at the playground. Then, suddenly, the kids’ parents started showing up and I looked at my watch and realized it really WAS 6:00 pm and time to go home. We were all tired, but contented, and Boo-Boo was overwhelmingly happy. Which is, of course, what first grade birthday parties are for, aren’t they?


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