Nana and I had fun at your house last week. It’s not every day that we get to celebrate our granddaughter’s fifth birthday.
Your birthday party was one of the best Opa ever attended. I thought your Mommy and Daddy did a good job decorating with the Star Wars theme.
Frankly, I was surprised that you have become such a Star Wars fan since I know you have never seen the movie. Your mother explained that your interest originated in a recent visit to your aunt and uncle’s home in Massachusetts. She said your cousin is keen on Star Wars.
I’m glad that you chose R2-D2 as your favorite character. He’s Opa’s favorite, too. He’s much cuter than CP30. I always thought he was the brains of the outfit and that if it hadn’t been for him, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia would have been captured by the bad guys several times.
I thought you handled the Birthday Girl role with aplomb, although you seemed to enjoy the company of adults as much as you did mingling with your friends from school. You are not one to rush into things, preferring to stand to the side and observe for a bit. For instance, I don’t think you engaged in the light-saber training but instead watched your guests’ attempts to keep a balloon aloft by hitting it with the saber while balancing on a plank.
(Incidentally, the light sabers looked a lot like the foam “noodles” Opa has seen at swimming pools, except for the metallic tape around the handles.)
You did participate in the sack races, however, and we were proud to see that you won your heat by a comfortable margin.
Things got a little out of hand after your Dad made a surprise appearance as a Storm Trooper. He had planned on teaching your guests some of the finer points of light-saber fencing but was taken aback when a half-dozen Junior Jedis attacked him at once.
I thought he held his own. I was reminded of scenes from Errol Flynn movies (also before your time) when the hero dispatched an endless string of swordsmen without breaking a sweat – except that neither Captain Blood nor Robin Hood had to cope with a five-year-old clinging with clenched teeth to his backside.
Anyway, I thought you were a gracious hostess. You stood next to your Mommy and gave each departing guest a big hug. That was sweet.
As a veteran of more birthday parties than I want to think about, I have to rate yours as one of the most successful. I didn’t count more than two or three meltdowns, none of which was yours. When I was your age or even older, I attended some birthday parties where the honoree ended up sobbing in his room, refusing to come out to tell his guests goodbye.
Your parents have done a good job of instilling social graces. That sort of thing is important now that you have reached a new plateau of maturity.
Being five years old is a big deal, but you already knew that.
A few weeks ago you started attending Montessori school for a full day. I know there are days when you think 3 p.m. will never arrive – and then there’s soccer after that some days.
Your Dad recently removed the training wheels from your bicycle. We could tell that it won’t be long before you will be riding without him holding onto the seat. One of these days soon, when Nana and Opa come for a visit, we’ll see you waving at us from your bike.
It’s good that you live on a dead-end street, where people know to drive slowly because of children playing in the street.
In the meantime, be sure to help your Mommy as much as you can by picking up your toys, helping feed Ebbitt and things like that. It won’t be long before you’ll be a big sister, and she’s really going to need you to be a big girl then.
May the Force be with you.
Email former Herald Editor Terry Plumb at email@example.com.