Yes, Mina's birthday . . .we had a party last weekend at this killer park that's crammed between Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. The park is hidden behind eucalyptus trees and tucked down into some hilly residentialness. It's a gem when you can find it. When I was a kid, my summer camp would go there now and again, and I told the girls that we campers would play Wolves up behind the tennis courts on a little woodsy path that circles the park. The good wolves would get chased by the bad wolves. We'd run on the rolling dirt, ducking branches. We hid in trees. I told the girls, "It was so fun, but I can't really tell you why or the real object of the game. It was just a blast."
I think that was the point of having the party there; to just play. Husband comes from an outstanding tradition of childhood made-up games; stick ball and Ninjas (kids just really kicking each other in a dirt lot) and on. And I used to pretend my bike was a horse or I'd set up a fort out of cardboard behind the apartment building next to the car ports. So for Mina's party we didn't want themes or gimmicks or the Entertain Me pressure. Deep down, kids still want to play it turns out. Adults too.
Papi grilled up tofu dogs on the park BBQ's and brought some Hebrew Beef Nationals for guests who wanted those, which worked out perfectly for the Kosher and Muslim kids, we found out. The tofu dogs were devoured first, I will add (propagandaously). Maya and her BFF AW baked four dozen vegan oreo cupcakes for the party, which were just enough for the kids who wanted thirds and fourths; most of them. Maya and AW are taking on the baking torch passed to them quite famously. I heard them talking about the vegan bakery-cafe they'd open together when they get older. I love that.
Here are some pictures of our day! They're about to run off and find the gift bags that Maya & her friends help me hide along the woodsy path behind the tennis courts. We made these kids work for their bags, which were filled with 99 Cent Store stuff. The most coveted item was the 99 Cent swim goggles. Score! Does anything beat a water-balloon toss? The answer is, No! Some of our grown friends and neighbors joined in.Here are the winners of Water-Balloon Toss, Round One: the boys of Mina's party FB & FN. Mina's crush is the gentle-natured half Peruvian, half Italian blond on the left there, FB. He's one of the best soccer players in school. Mina likes that. FN on the right is the class cut up. He's half Israeli, half British with eyes (and accent) that will devastate in a few more years.Here's our friend and neighbor Drew with Mina about to go long with some water balloons.Here are the winners of Water-Balloon Toss, Round 2: Margaret & Molly! Nice third balloon boob, Margaret.The water-balloon toss turned into a full-on water-balloon fight, which is really inevitable. Here's Maya post pelting, I think by our grown friend John.Maya got him back pretty good though. I think this is after ice went down the back of his shirt. Then we took it to the trees. Here are Maya's best friends, AW, Mina, Maya and El.El, Maya, AW. Mina's BFF Kai.Had to get this one (for Mina) of FB on a branch.
And of course my birthday Beauty, Mina.
We all had so much fun, we decided to do this again in a couple weeks for Maya's party!