Woke up late today, at some time around 9 or so. Fed the kids a late breakfast, and then gave J a bath and got him dressed and clipped his fingernails, wrapped his present, had him make a birthday card, showered and dressed myself, and then around 1:45 we headed out to the party. (There was a little more in there, but it was a slow morning, so not much more.)
We got there around 2:05 and were the third group there. Two of the birthday boy's other friends and one mother were there when we arrived, and his aunt and her family (husband, 7 month old baby, and father) arrived at almost the same time as us. Johnathan immediately joined in the loud, chaotic group of kids playing and watching tv (all 3 of them). More people drifted in over the next hour. By the end, there were around 6 little boys, 1 little girl, the birthday boy, and around 6 or 8 of his family members there. His mother is Latino and his father black, and the arriving family all seemed to be from the mother's side. It was pretty nifty, they were a bit loud and mildly outrageous but very friendly and playful, something I've never experienced first-hand in a family. My family, on both sides, tends to be a little more quiet and conservative - not actually cold, but certainly not as warm as this family.
The uncle got me a beer (Presidente, a Dominican beer - not bad, for beer) and I watched the kids play and chatted briefly with some of the members of the family. I felt a little out of place - even the other parents all knew each other. Sigh. I need to get Johnathan more involved socially, and I need to involve myself more socially, with the other kids in his school. It's hard, though, but will get easier once my father has arrived. I'll actually be able to attend PTA meetings and other silly things like that. With his car I'll also be able to get J to and from the various birthday parties and play dates he gets invited to, which will be nice. I've had to decline almost all of them simply because I had no way of getting him to them and back, esp. with the baby there as well.
Anyways, the party lasted until 6, so four hours. They had the kids help make some pizzas, and provided chicken wings in a sort of barbecue sauce, rice and beans, and potato salad for the adults. I also had a second Presidente. It was a lot of fun, actually. The kids had a really good time for the most part (one of the kids was an absolute BRAT and deserved a smack - his damn mother obviously is way too lax in her discipline, as he was throwing tantrums frequently and hurting the other kids (deliberately). The little bastard hit and kicked several other kids, including my son, and (accidentally, I think) poked him in the eye and made him cry. He even came up to me out of nowhere and punched me in the belly. It was, of course, a 6 year old punch and so it didn't hurt, but it did annoy me and I had to grit my teeth to keep from slapping him).
My J was, of course, a little gentleman for the most part, having fun but staying within the bounds of decency. He was definitely one of the better behaved kids, but not in a haunted, withdrawn way. He was just a good boy. It made me proud. I guess I'm doing something right.
I felt a little jealous, too. Their family is so warm and inviting and playful and outgoing and happy, and I wish I had something like that growing up. He had both his parents, and his grandfather, his aunt and uncle, a great uncle, and 4 (I think) cousins at this party. What family did I get at mine? My parents. It's just a different feel, to have a family that close knit, and I will admit I was jealous of it. My kids aren't going to experience that either - my family is scattered across North America (Canada and the US) and even when close by, just aren't close-knit. My generation is working on changing that but it'll be a long while, if ever, before we have the sort of relationships his family exhibited.
At some time around 4, I guess, they brought in a clown, and the kids liked that a lot. At close to 6 they opened the presents, and everyone loved the card my son made for him. I had insisted he make a card, and put some effort into it, as I wanted it to mean something. I'm trying to teach my son about things like that, that sometimes the effort you put into something means more than anything else, and that a card is one of those times. Everyone else had store-bought cards, so when Johnathan showed him the card and read it out loud ("Happy Birthday I like you A[snip] Form (sic) J[snip]") and explained it (basically: "this is a picture of you, A[snip], and this picture is of you and me together outside") the other adults all loved it. I will admit it made a bigger impression on them than on the birthday boy, but he'll absorb some of that from them, and as the kids get older they'll notice that sort of thing more and more often, so I'm glad I made him do it.
The little 7 month old daughter of his aunt was absolutely adorable. She was such a cutey, and very good natured - smiled and giggled at a lot, and loved seeing all the "big kids" playing and acting crazy. Towards the end she fell asleep in a different cousin's arms.
And hoo, boy, that cousin... she was absolutely gorgeous, if you ask me*. I will admit most might disagree with that (she's undeniably pretty and has a decent body, but most might not go as far as "absolutely gorgeous") but her specific look was just utterly appealing to me, and she had glasses and talked in a relaxed but intelligent manner. *swoon* ;) I was very tempted to ask her father (who I chatted with on a few occasions) if she was single but I couldn't think of any way of doing it subtly without making it obvious what I was asking. Still, I hope she's a regular visitor at the place, as if she is single, I could certainly do worse - and she obviously liked the kids, as she was playing with them and the held the baby until she fell asleep in her arms. (I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there's something incredibly attractive about a woman that treats my son(s) well and obviously likes them - I guess it's the father in me, but a woman is so much more attractive to me if they like my kids and vice versa. And yes, I mean that literally.)
We got back close to 7, and then went out to the deli to get some coke and Gatorade (and smokes for my brother in law), and then we had dinner and put the kids to bed and such. Tomorrow, the Renn Faire at the Cloisters.
* - Yes, I know, I was there to be with J at his friend's birthday party, not to scope out eligible females, but I can't help but noticing them if they're right there in front of me. Gimme a break, I'm human, and it's been months since I've gotten laid. I can't help but notice things like that.