Three

Late November last year, my wife received a call from the National Office informing her that there will be a seminar on December of that same year. The tentative schedule was very convenient for a side trip. Aside from that, airfares were selling at a discounted price. Hmmm… So, all factors considered we decided that Ryx and I will go with her. We grabbed the chance of Ryx seeing our relatives in Manila for the first time at a lesser cost. Hehe! It was also agreed that we will not spend anything for the coming 3rd birthday of Ryx since the trip was already our treat to him.

Flash forward to first week of February. We felt a bit guilty about our plan of not celebrating Ryx’s birthday. Wifey thought that Ryx deserved something like a simple celebration. After all, we’ve been so frugal when it comes to him (clothing, toys. etc.) since his day one.

Our plan was to throw a simple party. Since it was our son’s day, the party must be something that he (and us! Budget constraints…. Hehehe!) will enjoy the most! And the best way was to surround him with kids. Now where can we look for kids? Our immediate family (only two kids) were so far far away. Then we spotted some kids passing by. Ting! Question answered. After that we started telling the neighbourhood kids about our mini party. And the buzz spread like wildfire.

Our mind was already fixed. We will be having a feeding-program-sort-of with the neighbourhood kids for his birthday . Our menu? Pancit + a slice of marble cake + juice + unlimited dirty ice cream in cones. Simple, right? But two days before the party, something got me thinking. If we will just invite the kids then feed them, the party would be boring. We need something to liven up the mood. Ting! Games! (There goes our budget… )

A day before the celebration, the search for props was on. I ordered some 10 balloons and bought some which were not inflated yet. Bought ten party hats with Ben 10 (his latest favourite) design, too. Then the palayok and the frame for pabitin. Wifey took charged of the goodies and the prizes for the winners.

We scheduled our mini party at 3pm… just in time when kids are passing by from school on their way home. But as early as 9am when I was about to go and fetch the props and balloons from the store, we already had some visitors knocking at our door. Hehe! I think the kids got too excited that they even forgot that the event was still in the afternoon. Wifey and Dida, her assistant started their chores while I was away As soon as I got back, we attached the prizes in the pabitin and the palayok. Decorating the place followed. Hahaha! It’s a pity that we don’t have enough chairs at home. So we made a makeshift bench for the kids.

Exactly 3pm, kids started showing up. They were still about 300 meters but we can already hear the excitement in their voices. We let them seat for a while before Ryx joined them. Ryx was so happy after seeing his visitors. His expression was priceless. After a while, I gave them a cue for a round of ice cream. In an instant, all the children flocked to Mr. Sorbetero. Ryx included! He didn’t even realize that he was a privilege child. He joined the kids in frenzy.

Ryx also joined in the games. Being among the youngest in the group, Ryx had a hard time in following the mechanics of the game. At one point in the pass the ball game, one rushing kid bumped against Ryx and he got so upset and cried. Fortunately, I was able to calm him down. The statue dance also was funny. Early part of the game, he got surprised when the other kids stopped when the music stopped. But later he got the idea and joined them.

The “feeding” was the hardest part for us – the host. Only three abled body (one actually is pregnant) against almost 40 kids! Just imagine that! While some are behave, there were some who are unruly. Some still needed added attention like they don’t know how to eat alone or they can’t insert the straw of the juice. Whew!

We were so tired after the party. We didn’t realize that preparing a party even as simple as that was so strenuous. I could just imagine if we went our usual way like we did in the past. With our celebration, we didn’t have to dress up properly or tidy up our place or prepare “delicious” food… or spend that much. On top of that, I don’t think Ryx would have a grand time if we didn’t do that. That’s the most important, right?

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