The last hoorah of the week-long ‘Festival of Cassidy’ which we have been celebrating as our biggest boy turned nine, was a simple party with his mates around the campfire at home. In comparison to earlier (more more elaborate) birthday parties, this one required just a few basic elements, mostly revolving around the bunch of 9 year old boys and the bush.
A hike from the house through the bush to the spot we had picked kicked things off, where they got a fire going before romping off to climb boulders, talk nonsense and periodically return to poke sticks in the fire. When they discovered masses of green slime at the creek it was 9 year old boy heaven. It didn’t take long for handfuls of slime to start flying through the air. Predictably, someone also fell in the mud.
Slime, mud, fire, torches, hamburgers, marshmallows – what more does a bunch of big boys need? Music, it seems – when we returned to the house later that night an impromptu disco started up while I assembled the birthday cake (this boy of ours has recently discovered popular music, in a big way. Hello, Justice Crew). This disco was a blend of novel dance moves somewhere between gymnastics and parkour, involving vaulting over and diving off the furniture in the library, along with lots of spins, springs, leaps and non-stop laughter.
Imaginative parties for younger birthdays, with costumes, themed food, and daddies dressed as dragons (with tails constructed from stuffed stockings and kitchen sponges stuck on with the hot glue gun) have been great fun over the years. But for a group of nine year olds, it was more important to have plenty of outlets for all that physical energy, and to let them just be together.
The guys from Justice Crew appear to understand the essence of being a nine year old boy perfectly. Take it away, boy wonders:
So you gotta be strong, live by the words of the song,
Together is where we belong, never stop dreaming, keep holding on. …
At the end of the day, some you win, some you don’t
So I’m glad that I’m here with some friends that I know
Always there with a smile, saying ‘you’re not alone’
Saying ‘La la la la Que Sera’.