Making the world safer and justice-ier for another year

To celebrate successfully making it a full time around the sun again for the 4th time, we threw the Boy a party.

Last year, it was all about the racing cars. This year, he seems to have picked up a superhero fetish somewhere along the way. So we shifted gears (Ha! I'll wait here a second while you appreciate that one), and decided on a new theme to properly celebrate this momentous event. Besides, I figured this would be easy than building another set of working vehicles

Capes for a dozen kids? Check. What kind of cake? Superman, of course. What about games or activities?

Hmm. What do young pre-schoolers with burgeoning superpowers do for fun, anyway? I did a little research (finally... a legitimate reason to watch Linda Carter's Wonder Woman for hours and hours). Turns out, Super Heroes like to overcome things. Villains. Tall buildings. Cupcakes. Whatever you put in front of them, really. 

Shazam. Instant obstacle course. 

Over! Under! Weave! Dodge! Crawl! Jump! Repeat! And again, until you're feeling the burn. They don't just give those Justice League lapel pins to anyone, kid, so put a little effort into it. 

We put out the call to a couple of friends to find cones, and a sole, lonely hoolahoop (what the heck happened to all the hoolahoops? They weren't exactly a huge thing when I was a kid either, but I swear we always had at least 2 or 3 leaning dejectedly on a garage wall. Now: nadda). Off to Agway for a dozen bales of hay, and re-purpose some of the pig-roast cinderblocks, throw on an old pallet, and we're up and running. Oh, and parents, please sign these indemnity waivers before your kids crawl under the pallet-cum-Tunnel of Doom. I think I bent most of the rusty nails down, but you never can tell, can you? The clock stops when you touch the flag at the end of the course. 

The Boy made the first run through the course, to show the rest of the Super Friends wannabees how it was to be done. 

Soon enough, they all had it down. 

(Editor's note: I can't help but think to myself "no capes, dahling," when I look at this picture.)

Hey, wait a minute... who let that guy on the course? 

That'd be Dan, our neighborhood crash-test-parent. No cape, it doesn't count, Dan. Off the course. 

Lest the kids get too arrogant in their new found superness, we stepped it up a notch. Now do the whole course over again... this time carrying a water balloon. 

Ha! I bet you didn't see that one coming, did you young super-dude? (It was going to be 'water balloons with lasers strapped to them,' but that felt a little trite.)

When they weren't racing the clock to top the times of their comrades in arms, the super-kids were hanging out in the shade, or climbing in the treehouse (a.k.a. Fortress of Justice and Awesomitude). And drinking some juice or water. It's important that a hero stay hydrated. 

Eventually, there was cake. As there should be. 

What more can be said? The kids had a blast. There were minimal injuries, considering. And everyone went home with an extra cupcake and their own cape. 

Because fighting Evil is hungry work. 

Happy birthday, my boy, and rock on. 

Note: if you had a kid at the party, and wanted to check out other pics of your own little darling crusader for Truth & the American Way, I've uploaded many of them to Flickr, here.