Sigh. The guilt. The knot in my stomach. The heartache of knowing that I am an inadequate mother.
No, I didn’t forget my child on the roof of the car. I did not sell him into child pornography or child slavery. I did not force him to converse with me only in Pig-Latin so that his classmates would laugh at him when he started school.
Nope. I failed in a much more important way.
Maybe it is just that I became a parent too soon. Maybe there is still time to discover a spacial anomaly that will allow us to remedy the situation. So that we could once again hold our heads high with the other parents who hosted birthday parties for their equally indulged children. Sigh.
We had fun. Or so I thought.
When Jacob was young, we had a swimming pool. And so we had lovely gatherings for dozens of friends with everybody in the pool. I was young enough then to even appear in front of my friends in a bathing suit.
As he aged, we progressed to other types of parties. We had one at an indoor playground with tunnels and ball pits and slides and pizza. We did bowling and laser tag. All with pizza.
It’s true that unlike a classmate of Jacob’s in 1st grade we did not hold his 7th birthday party in one of the fanciest hotels in Geneva, Switzerland, as did one of his classmates. It was quite a doo, actually, with waitresses in little French maid outfits carrying silver trays full of, yeah, pizza. (I’ve always wondered where they’ll hold her wedding.) But Jacob is a boy, and didn’t care a hoot about fancy-schmancy.
Once we had Jacob’s birthday party at a skateboard rink; helmets and pads were required. We indulgent parents want to keep everybody safe, and bubble wrap tends to be somewhat suffocating. We served Pizza, natch.
We only had one real disaster. And that was when the day before Jacob’s 13th birthday party, which had been postponed, John was called out of the country for an emergency meeting. Jacob has never recovered. “Dad missed my 13th Birthday Party,” he sniffed, just this evening.
I thought that was the worst possible child’s birthday fiasco imaginable in an age where parties aren’t done at home, and really all parents need to do is write a check. It’s hard to go too wrong unless the check bounces.
I thought that until today, anyway.
That’s when I learned that there is a whole new type of kids birthday party that will, well, blow away the competition! And we missed it. Sigh. We were simply born too soon.
And, of course, as in so very many things, Texas is leading the way. You see, a Texas gun range will be hosting birthday parties for children as young as 8 years old!
“I don’t know whether anyone has ever tried this before,” said David Prince, who is building the indoor gun range.
Personally, I myself, cannot imagine why no one has ever thought of arming children with lethal weapons, filling them with soda and candy and pizza and letting them go at it. What could be more fun?
Mr. Prince did mention that lots of staff will be around to “help parents supervise.” Boy, that’s a relief.
Because supervising kids parties isn’t really as easy as it sounds. That bowling party Jacob had when he was 8? There were heavy balls falling too close to kids feet, there were shoe rentals (and the fact 8 year olds never know their size) the drinks and snacks to be ordered and kept off the special floor. It’s complicated.
“We’re not just going to have kids running around waving loaded guns and shooting at piñatas,” said Prince, an accountant and gun enthusiast.
Yup, staff assistance will be available. This is handy, natch, when lethal weapons are involved; I’d say it’s worth at least an extra $5, easy. Perhaps an extra $20 if no one dies.
But you know, I imagine that the release form will be a bit intimidating for the parents who actually like their kids:
Yes, I agree to hold Bubba’s Bullet and Billet harmless, in the event that someone blows my 8-year-old child’s head off.
Nevertheless, I think that it’s good to know that entrepreneurs are developing better ways for parents to get a bang for their birthday bucks.
I just hope the staff is good at distinguishing between pizza stains and blood.