It's hard to believe that I am the parent of a high schooler. But even in his advanced 14 years, birthday parties are still important, though they have taken on a different tone. This year, Max invited 3 friends - one from nursery school, one from elementary school and one from middle school - to sleep over and have a weekend of teenage fun.
They started out by eating barbecue burgers followed by a Carvel Fudgie the Whale cake, and then candy and chips while playing games on the PS2 and the internet. Later they went out and met up with some friends at Stuy Town and bought more snacks before returning to continue gaming into the wee hours.
After not too much sleep and after a breakfast of french toast, Max opened his presents (juggling balls and clubs, a scooter, a shirt, gift cards for video rentals and iTunes, wireless mouse & keypad and a wad of cash) and headed to Times Square for a few hours of - what else - more gaming - but this time on loud and huge screens, at Dave and Busters. We drank beer while they shot down monsters and danced to the beat of moving arrows. They found a way to quickly gain more tickets than normal and traded them in for - what else - candy. Lots and lots of candy. The disgusting kind of candy that comes in a squeeze tube and large straws of pure colored sugar. I ate a lot of it on the subway home.
With only a slice of pizza in them, and finger cramps from all the texting and phone calls with friends, one went home and the other three rushed out to a club on Avenue C to rock out with some high school bands followed by a little more time with Stuy Town friends. One more went home and the last two came home by 10:30 Sunday night. They grumbled about how mean I was to ask them to come home so early, but within 5 minutes they fell asleep and slept til noon the next day when Max went to meet Grandma for a birthday lunch and his best present of the weekend - an I-Touch. What a great birthday weekend for Max, and not too difficult for me either.