Poor Patrick. Him and his fellow summer-baby brethren have no idea what it's like to enjoy a during-the-school-year birthday the likes of which me and my other (non-Patrick) brother so consistently enjoy. The parents have always done their best, but it's never been so much as "good," at least until this year.
Originally, the parents sent out gaggles of invites to parents, without so much as a peep of reply, and Patrick had to make do with odd aunts and even more odd cousins in attendance at best.
Daddy-Man did his best last year, going so far as to send out almost two-dozen hand-written invitations before the school year ended begging the other parents to brings kids for attendance, or at least RSVP saying they couldn't. Sadly, he got no reply. Summer parents, man, I tell you they're the worst.
This year we were out of the states for his birthday, so the Daddy-Man left nothing to chance. He found a friendly, neighborhood eatery that was kind enough to host it, pre-plan it, set it up, pre-establish it, set it up some more, asked them kindly once again to live up to their promises, begged like crazy that they'd actually do it, spent more time and money than he should have and, as if by magic, the very most minimal party of any sort came to pass.
Sure, Carlito's Bar & Grill in Gúanica, Puerto Rico was already friendly to us, but they still came almost through for us and at only three times the previously agreed upon price.
They're good people, kind of. We got a frumpy cake, some greasy bar food, a couple 2-liters of pop, and entertained only his own grand-kids (despite the promise of three times as many kids), but Patrick is sheltered and autistic, so he didn't know any the wiser and everybody was happy.
Even baby Dominic got to meet the love of his life that night, so all in all, it was a pretty great time.
We had pop, candy, cake, and even got to play anything-but-musical chairs. It was a lot of fun. End of the night when the bill came to settle, it meant nothing that the Daddy-Man had been gracious, that the party was Carlito's idea in the first place nor that the agreed upon suggestion price was literally a third of what was expected, everybody had fun.
Mind you, this was an odd birthday, thrown together days after it was supposed to be done, despite six weeks of planning. It all worked out because we never told Patrick the date, and then we made up for it with another two parties thereafter. He made out like a loco bandito, if you axe me.
So thank you, Puerto Rico, for your kindness, hospitality, gracious accommodation, and unwavering willingness to give a child an unforgettable birthday in a strange land with strange people in a very strange place, even if he did promptly forget about it.
Viva Puerto Rico!
Above - Call it as you like, but I call it as I see it, and the camcorder (pictured bottom right) agrees, this was a fully functional and exceptionally fun event.
Above - The presents were nice, but I think somebody might have flashed Patrick more than the cameras did, and from the look on his face, he might have just liked it. Also, pay special mind to the ignoramus-type looks on the faces of me and my brother (just to the right of his majestically bald, eagerly giddy face.)