Jack and Arizona have been in school together since they were 2. They met at Step by Step, moved on to Echo Horizon in the Pre-K program and when that didn’t prove to be a good fit for either of them, both ended up attending and graduating from Cheerful Helpers. They aren’t at the same school anymore, but they attend summer camp together and have multiple play dates throughout the year. It doesn’t hurt that Jack’s Mom Kerrie is one of my favorite warrior mamas on the planet. It’s always fun when our families get together.
This past weekend, Jack celebrated his 11th birthday party at Dave & Buster’s. When Kerrie first mentioned the venue, I was a bit skeptical. Arizona doesn’t like loud noises, unexpected sensory disturbances and screaming kids running amuck. But as usual, Kerrie made sure the venue was perfectly accommodating for our kiddos. She rented out the venue BEFORE it was open to the public (9am-11am), had the music lowered, the lights dimmed and the overall sensory stimuli toned down significantly. She also had gluten free + vegan options for Arizona and others with special diets. (See why I love her?)
Like anything new, Arizona told me she only wanted to go to the party for 5 minutes, say happy birthday to Jack and then head back home. I said, “Okay. Let’s see what happens.”
Turns out, she loved every minute and didn’t want to leave. There are a few reasons for this : she has learned to try new things, be flexible with different ideas and most importantly, she really loves her friend Jack. She was so happy to celebrate with him.
At the end of the party, she went up to Mama Kerrie and said, “Jack is my first and favorite male friend.” Happy Birthday Jack. We love you!