Kid Invites Random Playground Children to Nonexistent Birthday Party
Parents plan to leave giant boxes of cupcakes at swings throughout Brooklyn
Some of you who have been following this publication since its early days may have started to wonder, as we approached the year’s end, “But surely she must have a birthday?!” First of all, thank you deeply for your concern. She appreciates it. Everybody wants a birthday—and indeed, Kina does have one. It is exactly one week from today, and she is super psyched.
It is hard on most years to have a winter birthday. Laurea, who suffers from a similar malady, has explained to me (a child of summer) its many downsides: not being able to have pool parties, being forgotten in the midst of the holidays, and a sharp decline in access to ice cream cakes. Add to that the social complications presented by our current year, compounded by Kina’s limited but significant experience with birthdays, and you can imagine what Laurea and I are dealing with as we consider how best to celebrate this momentous occasion with America’s most party-happy preschooler.
We will cover those events aggressively here in The Daily Kina, of course, but I think you all read this publication often enough to know we’re not having a massive surreptitious toddler breath exchange. There will be, in short, no party. On this, two out of the three residents of this house agree; the naysayer is out there at the local playgrounds inviting random small children to our celebration. “You should come to my birthday party!” she tells them. She has invented, out of the plans we’ve made for various non-party birthday parties, the actual party we wish we were having. As you can imagine, her invitation is generally well-received—and what kind of monster would shatter the illusion that maybe somebody is going to throw a good old-fashioned winter birthday party?
Well, maybe me. I’m sorry, but there is no party for these kids to attend, and I hate it. I do feel a sense of obligation to the children of North Brooklyn in this, the season of our publisher’s birthday, and I want all of them to see the balloons and eat the cupcakes and perform the singalongs that accompany that glorious day. Part of me wants to bring the party to them, leaving out huge boxes of cupcakes by the slides, distributing individually-wrapped party hats, and conducting a borough-wide performance of “Happy Birthday” for the four-year-old of whom I am so proud. I’m glad this neighborhood is here for her when she needs it, and that she’s so excited that it can celebrate the occasion she’s only sort of having. This will be the most memorable birthday of her life, for sure, even if her distant playground friends forget by next week that they were never invited.