Three weeks ago, my son proclaimed he’d be having three birthdays instead of one. Sky Zone, Gizmo’s Fun Factory and iFly would be hosting this year’s festivities. Honestly, I didn’t realize my kid was spoiled until he made me feel as though I was on an episode of “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” I remember watching kids make outrageous demands, while their parents handed over their annual salary for a one day event. Back in the 80’s and 90’s we were lucky to have a small get together with a few friends if our parents could afford it. Birthday presents didn’t have four wheels and typically came in a box the size of a Baby All Gone doll (oh, those were the days).
June 22, 2018.
Tyler’s birthday became a 12-hour event. We started the day at iFly-Naperville where he participated in two rounds of in-door sky diving with a trainer of course! Once this wrapped, we drove halfway across town to Hodgkins just to see "Incredibles 2." From there we headed to Orland Park for several rounds of laser tag and zip lining at Gizmo’s Fun Factory. We ended the night by picking up a small cake from Mariano’s and ordering pizza from Papa John's. Between driving all over Illinois to get from one place to another, we were tired and fell asleep at midnight.
June 23, 2018.
It rained all day yesterday, so we had to reschedule his party for Saturday. I know what you’re thinking … didn’t I take him everywhere except Disney World the day before? It was important for me to have a party for his friends who were all separated last year and put into different classrooms. Outside of recess, they barely spend time together anymore. Back to the story. Tyler's Dad and I headed to Sam’s Club to pick up the main staples and a three tier cake. Why three tiers? That’s what the birthday boy wanted, so I agreed. Dad grilled and I decorated the tables. Tyler had the time of his life.
It’s been four days since the party and I’ve had some time to reflect on everything including my bank balance. I wonder if I have contributed to the 'Spoiled Kids Club.' Since becoming a parent I’ve done everything to make sure that my son’s childhood would be much different than my own. Growing up I couldn’t afford to go most places, so local parks and Chuck E. Cheese were my versions of Sky Zone and iFly. The only time my friends and I would get together is during recess at school and my live-in cousins were the only playmates I had at home.
Maybe I just want my son to have the life I never did.
Although I have made every attempt at not spoiling my son-sometimes I fail.There are nights when he expects me to order pizza, sometimes I oblige and other times he’s met with a flat out NOPE! Most days he wants his best friend to come over and I don’t feel like being bothered. Mama’s have their moments too, you know?
Despite my shortcomings, I still teach my son to be kind, loving, honest, grateful and respectful of others. This is something you can't buy at any store.