Birthday Parties

Birthdays are something everyone has but everyone is unique. As we get older many of us are less eager to draw attention to the fact that time is not on our side. That seems to change when folks hit 80 or thereabouts. Then everyday is cause for a celebration.

Recently a young girl, Audrey, came to Mr. Ed’s Farm to celebrate the big 06 . Surrounded by friends, cousins, classmates, parents and grand parents, Audrey beamed with being the center of attention on her special day. The girlish giggles, the heartfelt laughter and genuine enthusiasm were proof that a lifelong memories was being made.

Parents enjoy watching their children have fun. However organizing a birthday party can be stressful. There are so many choices. Should we go bowling? Go for pizza? Go to a movie? How do we do the presents? Who should we invite? What can we do different than last year or from what we did for a sibling?

Audrey,’s family visited the Farm in December for a sleigh ride. Audrey let her parents know that it was her preferred place for her sixth birthday party. The rest was easy. Mom called to reserve the date and time. We usually recommend at least two hours. The day arrived. Mom, dad and grandma brought hot dogs, wild rice soup, sloppy joes, chips and a beautiful birthday cake. They finished decorating as the guests arrived. Audrey, in her lovely birthday attire, greeted her friends at the door and showed them where to put the presents.

When all the guests had gathered I pulled the horses up to the door and everyone followed the birthday girl onto the wagon. Off we went for one of the bumpiest rides of the year. The girls squeals and giggles drown out the ooh’s and uff-das of grand parents. Apparently how much we enjoy bumps is an age thing.

Returning pretty much intact to the farm yard, we began the barn tour. The dogs, chickens, sheep, pigs and assorted other critters did their part to make Audrey feel special. Memorable moments include surrounding and attempting to catch a huge black rooster that magically escaped between my legs, holding a bunny, cuddling a day old lamb and feeding hungry sheep and calves. Playing Happy birthday on the “piganio” drew laughter and applause from the party goers.

The time came to return to the Welcome Center, sanitize the hands, and dig in. Following the food and blowing out the candles, presents were opened and gifts exchanged. Adults visited and the children played as dusk settled over the farm. Turning six only happens once in our lives. I think Audrey will remember this day for a long time. I know I will.

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