The Best Angry Birds Birthday Party. Ever.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake*Thanks to Ms. MMK for this guest post


Complete and utter joy.

In case you are not familiar with how joy is expressed by seven- and eight-year-old boys, I will inform you.

Noise. Complete and penetrating noise.

That’s how I know that SJ’s Angry Birds’ birthday party was an absolute success. After the party was over, my ears were ringing as if a plane was directly overhead.

Worth it? You would know the answer if you had ever experienced the “SJ Thank You Hug.” Picture a young boy of significant size barreling at you until his head hits your chest. All the while, he’s smiling like he just shot the Darth Maul pig out of the air. Yeah, it was worth it.SJ and the Angry Birds Birthday Planner AKA Ms MMK

But you probably want to hear the details.

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Good-Bye Seven

Happy Birthday SJ - Goodbye SevenRemember when your birthday was your favorite day of the year? You looked forward to it all year around. You wanted to be older.  You wanted to be bigger. You just wanted.

Today is SJ’s birthday. My youngest son is now 8-years old. He’s thrilled.

I’m not.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently. He and his wife have triplets. Their children are in 11th grade. Anyway, we were walking along, and I didn’t notice his children. Part of his response was, “Don’t worry. Some day you’ll be able to walk away or go out and not have to worry about your children.”

“I’m not in a rush,” I said.

In fact, I’m going to miss seven.

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Happy Birthday Bruce, The Future of Rock and Roll

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen in concert.

I remember the day rock and roll began for me. It was on a Thursday night in August of 1985. Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band were in the midst of the Born in the USA tour.  I was part of the 50,000 plus fans who sang along to each song and listened raptly as Bruce went into one of his stories.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Bruce is a story teller, and it doesn’t end with the songs. Periodically, he’ll tell a story with some musical accompaniment playing softly in the background that will lead into the next song.

One such story he told that warm August night has remained with me, and it’s particularly pertinent today. You see our rock n roll hero was telling us how old he was and that he was losing it.  We were not having it and let Bruce know we disagreed with his assessment. However, he longed for his ‘Glory Days,’ and that’s just what he gave us.

You know how old Bruce was? He was 35, soon to be 36. And now he is 65.

Bruce Springsteen, my rock n roll hero is 65 freaken years old. This is the man who Jon Landau, then an influential music critic, saw in May of 1974 in Boston.  In his review, Landau said, “I saw rock and roll’s future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”

That guy – rock and roll’s future – is 65 freaken years old.  Isn’t rock and roll youth and rebellion? Now Bruce may have been born to run but now is closer to moving to Florida, eating dinner at 4 p.m., and needing a comb over.

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A Lesson Learned From My Mother

A mother and her family

My mother surrounded by her family (one son is not in the photo)

Last month my mother had a special birthday. I would tell you the number, but she’s sensitive about such things. So, I’ll leave you to speculate.

In honor of my mother’s birthday, her four children and their families got together.  We spent a couple of days at a resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

We hung out at a waterpark, watched football (yea Eagles – they won but really made us sweat), and ate cake. It was quality family time. Lots of fun.

While we were together, I shared a story about my mother. I’d like to share it with you as well.

My friends and I spent loads of time on our block playing sports. However, there was also a good deal of down time. We would sit on the steps in front of my house and talk about whatever young boys talk about.

We had a neighbor who lived around the block whose name was P. P. who was about 10 years older than my friends and me, was mentally challenged. During the summer, he used to enjoy riding his tricycle around the block.

P. would stop his tricycle in front of my friends, and me and say “hi.” His hi was loud and slurred and he kept waving his hand. P. would repeat “hi” a few times before eventually taking his leave and cycling down the block.

While my friends and I would mutter, “hi,” in response, we were embarrassed and didn’t know what to say or how to act. We were relieved when he left and would reengage in our conversation and act as if P. had never appeared.

Around the summer I turned 11, P. went through a phase. P. would kiss random women, smile, and go away.  Yes, P. had become the kissing bandit.

One summer afternoon, my friends and I were hanging out on the steps in front of my house. Someone came up and told me, “P. kissed your mom.”


“Yeah, he just kissed her and went away.”

“Oh.” I was embarrassed for mom, but I didn’t know what to say.

My friends were abuzz over the news. However when my mom approached the house, everyone scattered.

As my mother walked up the steps, I fell in next to her. “Hi mom.”

“Hi dear. How was your day?”


“Mom, did P. kiss you?”

“Yes, he did.”

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“What? Why not? Aren’t you upset? ”

“No. He didn’t mean anything by it.”

“But Mom he’s been kissing girls all around the neighborhood.”

“He is just trying to be friendly. He’s not able to communicate with people the way you can. He doesn’t understand.”

But I did.

And in that moment my mother taught me some lessons that I carry to this day. I learned about appreciating others. I learned that not everyone is the same. I learned about empathy.

My mother is the humblest person I know. However, I gained wisdom from seeing her act.

May she have many more years of good health and joy.

I have much more to learn.