Party Planning

A week from today will be Dakota’s tenth birthday. In case I happen to forget that fact he makes it a point to remind me every day. When he first reminded Trina and I of that fact we asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday this year. He had this incredulous look on his face as he stated matter-of-factly “Well I am going to the Diamondbacks game of course.” I had never been more proud of the boy than I was at that moment. There was never any doubt in his mind that the most appropriate place to spend a birthday (or any day for that matter) is at Chase Field cheering on the Arizona Diamondbacks. If I taught my children nothing else I can at least die knowing that I was successful as a parent to instill the proper priority in my kids’ lives. Trina merely shook her head and muttered something about father, son, warped, and hair piece. No wait it wasn’t hair piece it was therapy. I’ve noticed that Trina develops an annoying habit of muttering and mumbling. I think it is an allergy since it seems to get worse starting in April and then gets better somewhere around the end of September though from 1999-2002 the mumbling went into October.

For each of the kids’ birthdays we let them choose the activity we do and they are given an opportunity to go out to dinner at a restaurant of their choice. It seems like as the girls have gotten older their food tastes get more expensive. Long gone are the Happy Meals at McDonalds followed by playing in the Ronald McDonald play area. That has given way to elegant meals at chic restaurants with cloth napkins and fancy pagers to notify you when your table has been prepared. That is why Dakota is such a breath of fresh air. When I asked what he wanted to eat for his birthday he thought for a moment then stated, “I think I want one of those foot long corn dogs at Chase Field and maybe a cotton candy.” Now that is what I call a gourmet meal! The only thing that could be better would be if the Diamondbacks brought back spicy mustard to put on the corn dog. That would be awesome. Besides dinner plans Dakota and I also talked about gift ideas. He wants a jersey from the team shop with his name and number on it and a new Sedona Red Diamondbacks hat. Looks like I’ll be doing some shopping at the team shop when the next home stand starts.

Trina and I were sitting quietly watching the Diamondbacks play the San Francisco Giants. By sitting quietly I mean I was watching the game and ignoring whatever it was that Trina was saying (I did occasionally nod so that the game would not be interrupted by her claiming that I wasn’t listening. I find that one nod per every 14 pitches provides optimum coverage without making you look like a bobble head doll). Somewhere in about the 6th inning Dakota came in and sat down beside us to watch the game. He started talking about how he was thinking that since he was turning 10 it would be really cool if he had a birthday party. He and Trina began talking about the various activities that they could do for a party. There was the usual arcade or activity locations that we always hear like Amazing Jakes, Game On, Fiddlesticks, Golf Land. These consist of some sort of token-based activity and really bad pizza. Finally during the seventh inning stretch I figured I should probably weigh in on this discussion. “Why don’t you just take some of your friends to the ball game?” I asked. The plan seemed so simple. We could get some upper deck tickets so the boys had room to stretch out. They would have the run of Chase Field to get treats. They could go to Peter Piper Playhouse beyond center field or to Futures Field to play wiffle ball if they got tired of the game. We could get them much better food than what they would get at those other places. And depending on what game we took the boys to they could also get a stadium giveaway. Trina and Dakota had tentatively discussed Saturday April 28 as the date of the party. That would be perfect since it was Orlando Hudson Gold Glove Bobble Head day. What boy wouldn’t want a bobble head? And quite honestly I think a baseball game would probably be a better value than one of those arcade parties. My suggestion seemed to hold merit as Trina and Dakota disappeared to go out to the Internet to find tickets and decide how many friends Dakota would take to a game. See, there is no problem that baseball can’t handle.

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