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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a perfect afternoon

In our small corner of the world, the kids we know have absolutely everything they need and pretty much everything they want, save for the life-sized robot and pony some of the more ambitious are after.

In fact, among most of our family and friends, the moms are engaged in a constant battle to reduce the "stuff" and when a birthday or holiday rolls around we are faced with needing to make room for the inundation of more "stuff." 

Recently, the girls went to a party for our neighbor's four-year-old and we were asked not to bring gifts.  This is something I have always wanted to do but somehow felt this was wrong to ask my kids to forgo the single thing besides cake that makes them feel special on their birthday.  I was surprised by how uncomfortable I was arriving gift-less even though this is something I greatly admire and aspire to.

We've come up with a bit of compromise.  The date coupon.  Ange and Matt's son, Brady, turned 7 in February and we gave him a coupon for a date out with our family.  Allegedly, he was very excited to receive our wrapped up piece of paper and hung it on his bedroom wall.  Either that or his parents just didn't want us to feel badly that we didn't bring a gift that required batteries.

Sunday was our date with Brady and we took him out for some fun.
 First of all, allow me to say how very handsome he has become. He is also as smart as a whip and told us over lunch about watching a documentary on the overuse of coal.  I love this child.

We have long joked that Brady is the boy version of Ella, sensitive and on the quiet side, and that they would grow up and get married someday.  They have been the sweetest kind of friends since they were babies, yet when they started school and seemed to really understand that one was a boy and one a girl, and their commonalities suddenly seemed fewer than their differences. 

With no competition from Brady's little sister Anna for Ella's attention, her eyes were on Brady and they had the kind of fun they did a couple of years ago.

My heart beat still.

Brady picked Geaghan's, and Irish type restaurant and pub for lunch.  He is the only child I have ever been out with that asked to sit in the bar.  Really?  Apparently he has basically grown up in that bar listening to his dad play in his Irish band.  It's not like we gave him a Guiness or anything.

This is the sign that greets you when you walk in.  I love it.

I love this picture Ella took of us with Brady's face peeking over.  Such a seven-year-old thing to do.

Ella and Brady contentedly colored and played while we waited for our food.
That is until Maya crept under the table, looking a lot like a chaperon inserting herself between two people on a date.

Then we were off to the park, the movies (to see The Lorax- wow what an incredible movie) and then to the inflatable indoor play place called the Maine Jump.  It was an action packed afternoon so full of fun that I was overcome with the privilege of loving and playing with these remarkable children.

Whose to say the big kids can't play a little at the park?

What a wonderful and mostly green way to celebrate a birthday and give a gift!

We love you Brady Smith.  Like a

1 comment:

Raina @ Mamacita Spins The Globe said...

Awesome! I love the "chaperone" pics, they're perfect! This was a fabulous gift idea!

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