Over the weekend my son Big C celebrated his 7th birthday party. Well, his 1st one at least. Birthday celebrations are always interesting when you’re a military family. With service members training, traveling, deploying, and working crazy hours, military families have learned to celebrate special occasions when we can. So when we found out that Mr. Roller Coaster would be “on a trip” on Big’s C’s birthday, we decided to have the party early. One set of grandparents came to town for that party, and then we decided to celebrate again on his actual birthday when his other set of grandparents could come. Birthday #7 would surely be memorable! Well, after this weekend, all I gotta say is let’s hope the 2nd party goes more smoothly than the 1st. Big C insisted upon a laser tag party just like last year, and there were only a few boys he wanted to invite. On party day this past Saturday, he was so excited. His friends came trickling in, and Mr. Roller Coaster painted their faces camouflage to get them into battle mode. But 1 little boy, Big C’s “best bud” was nowhere in sight. My poor son waited and waited and waited at the door until finally we had to pull him away to start the first game. I tried calling the family, but no one answered. Big C’s best bud was a no show. Then during the break in between the 2 games, Big C announced that he would not be participating in the 2nd game. Parents and friends all tried to convince him to play, but he has clearly inherited both of his parents’ stubbornness. He revealed to us later that he didn’t want to play because he wasn’t good at it. I was almost happy when the party ended. I was disappointed both that Big’s C’s friend hadn’t shown up and that Big C refused to participate in the party he had begged to have. (I also wasn’t too thrilled with his attitude that if he wasn’t successful at something, he wanted to simply give up, but that’s a whole other blog post for another day.) As a parent, it’s hard to watch a party you planned go down in flames and even harder to feel helpless when you want your child to have fun and he’s not. Mr. Roller Coaster assured me that Big C had fun, that the cake and the presents compensated for everything else. I’m sure that he won’t think back on this party with as much disappointment as I will. And I know he’s already looking forward to birthday party #2 at Chuck E. Cheese, especially because Mr. Roller Coaster’s plans changed, and he’ll be home after all. (Plans change in the military? Go figure.) So wish us luck for a happy birthday party #2! Have you thrown any disappointing birthday parties for your kids? Have your kids ever sported the “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” attitude?