Tuesday, July 19, 2011

“Alotsa” Kids Have Birthdays on the 4th of July

Our grandson, “Superman’s” birthday is on the Fourth of July. He is a sensitive and handsome boy with blue eyes that rival those of big screen star, Paul Newman. He has been a superhero ALL his life. He comes by this naturally as superherodom runs deep in his father’s genes.

Superman is a typical five year old and his world is not complicated or confusing. It is quite evident that the fireworks displays so commonly seen around the Fourth of July are obviously for his birthday or for some other fortunate kid whose birthday happens to fall on the Fourth of July. We know this to be true because when Superman told the clerk at one of these fireworks stands that it was his birthday, she affirmed she knew that and that is why they were all there. In addition, when he sees other fireworks celebrations, he deducts that the fireworks are for some other kids’ birthdays. I would argue that this is pretty solid reasoning for a five-year-old superhero (specifically, Thor – God of Thunder, which was the superhero birthday party theme this year).

As a result, Four Sisters Farm enjoys an awesome Fourth of July celebration each year.

Grammy and Pop are blessed by little Superman’s fortuitous birthday. It is a sneaky way to get the Four Sisters and all their families to the farm. As we all know, God has a sense of humor and this year we got to experience it fully. The day started out more than warm and Romeo and Pretty Princess were at the farm helping Pop and Grammy make final preparations…there were pools to fill, hot dogs to cook, lemonade to make, swings to hang, grass to be mowed…all in preparation for Captain America’s, I mean Superman’s, I mean Thor’s birthday. Sometimes we get confused because so many superheroes come to the Four Sisters Farm and unbeknownst to the average citizen, most superheroes celebrate their birthdays here.

This particular day, the forecast called for 100 degree temperatures. Sunburns and superheroes do not go well together. Consequently, Pop went to the local hardware store and purchased a sun shade canopy with every intention of building a shaded oasis over the pool. He and Romeo set it up and Pretty Princess and Grammy were delighted! As final preparations were being made around the farm, Kansas weather once again reared its ugly head. The wind shifted to the north and in a matter of minutes was blowing in excess of forty miles per hour. Just as sunburns and superheroes do not go well together, high winds and sun shade canopies do not go well together. Pop was able to run down the canopy as it parasailed across the barnyard. This left Pop in a precarious position. He was hanging onto the frame of the canopy, unable to disassemble what had turned into a giant kite. Romeo had gone to town on an errand, Grammy was in the basement, and Pretty Princess was working in the kitchen. This left Pop hanging on for dear life and screaming for help. After what seemed to Pop like hours, Pretty Princess heard his cries and came to his rescue…which is fitting because we’re all about superheroes at the farm. However, we are not all about sun shade canopies any longer.

As the time grew near, the clouds continued to build, and shortly before “game time” (5 o’clock superhero time), it began to rain. And rain. And hail. And rain. You get the picture. This presented a conundrum as superheroes like hot dogs, hamburgers, and brats grilled outdoors. While superheroes are not scared of rain, hot dogs, hamburgers, and brats are. Unwilling (and maybe a little afraid) to disappoint Thor – God of Thunder (this year’s superhero birthday theme), Pop slogged the grill through the rain and opened up the big door on the shop, thereby preserving the menu and avoiding the wrath of Thor.

All our little superheroes, cowboys, dainty little girls, and team members made it to Four Sisters Farm in spite of the weather and we gathered in the house amid squeals of happy greetings frequently heard when the cousins get together. With our immediate family count now at 20, we are a crowd by ourselves…then for this occasion, we add some friends and Superman’s paternal side of the family which bumps the number up significantly. We rely on decent weather so we can utilize the 40 acres and spread out a little, but with the rain still coming down; we were in tight quarters for a while.

The rain finally did quit and the party went on. We were thankful for the rain dousing the lawn and the adjacent hay fields since fireworks is the big outdoor finale to this annual extravaganza. It was nice that Pop didn’t have to stand at the ready – waiting to extinguish fires while the dad’s shot off the plethora of fireworks they had purchased. It seems there is a bit of a pyromaniac in each of our daughters’ husbands.

When the rain finally quit, Grammy and Pop breathed a sigh of relief as the superheroes were released to the outdoors. It was a superhero’s dream…puddles to jump in, small buildings to climb (yes – literally – the well house is conquered regularly), bombs to throw (okay – hedge apples, but you have to give them credit for using their imaginations), swings to swing in, go karts to drive, and mud to be had by all. “Q”, the youngest of the bunch, ran unfettered until he had lost one shoe and was covered with mud spatters. We learned that our dainty little Super Girl has a need for speed and a penchant for singing while she’s driving. Pop called her “Danica Patrick” and says all the girls in the family inherited this need for speed from Grammy (which Grammy does not try to deny).

The fireworks finale was enjoyed well after dark without any fussing by even the youngest members of the family. When the last fuse was lit and the men cleaned up the mess, the mommies gathered their broods into the bath tubs to wash them up and put them in pajamas for the ride home. By that time, the Unconventional kiddos were hungry so some leftover brats were quickly heated up to sustain them on their journey home. DW is pretty sure they were stalling instead of truly being hungry, but she let Grammy indulge them anyway.

There is a deep sense of contentment and satisfaction to watch your children, your children’s children, and those you love at play. God gives wonderful “little” gifts. It is truly spectacular to have grandchildren who are superheroes. We highly recommend it. It is especially great to have a grandchild/superhero who has a birthday on the Fourth of July because you get to blow up stuff without getting in trouble from your momma. We all know you’re not gonna get in trouble from your daddy, coz he likes to blow up stuff too when your momma is not around. We look forward to blowing up “alotsa” stuff at Four Sisters Farm (when our mommas are not around).

Happy 5th Birthday, Superman!! You throw a "mean" party. Nicely done!

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