I’ll sing it to you
I texted/emailed the parents of the kids that I knew were coming from the UWS and told them that there were no trains running then took the only train down to Columbus Circle, the stop before the last stop, which was W. 50th.
So did pretty much everyone else on that train.
Columbus Circle was a madhouse.
A complete madhouse.
Could barely make it down the stairs and ended up not being able to get on the first two trains down and caught the third train, the D train.
What I didn’t realize – cause I never take the D train – was that it didn’t stop at 14th Street, instead, I ended up going to W 4th Street, 14 blocks and one avenue from where I needed to be.
Mind you, I’m lugging three enormous bags of toys, food, and miscellany this whole time.
Tried hailing a cab for a few minutes but there were literally none to be found. Not much traffic anywhere at all.
I’m guessing that (a) it being Sunday and (b) the water main break, meant that most people on the west side were stuck wherever they were.
So, with his party scheduled to start in about 30 minutes, I started hustling.
Ran just two blocks when I realized that I was along a bus line and turned around to see if I could see it.
In the first bit of good luck, I saw a bus headed my way so I flagged it down.
Me: (breathlessly) Do you go up to West 18th?
Him: Yeah, way past that.
Sitting down, I looked at the time and saw I only had 25 minutes to set everything up. Like…everything. In fact, I thought the kid and my friend might be there.
It took less than 10 minutes to get to 18th but I leapt off the bus anywho and ran to my gym. I was the first one there – which was good since I had the keys – and quickly started putting everything together – the table, the gift bags, the toys and games, etc.
My buddy that brought his kid and my kid came at 11:50, 10 minutes before the party was to start.
Him: I’m sorry, mate. We ended up hopping a cab and…
Me: No worries. I just got here a few minutes before you.
Since he and his wife brought the food and I set up the table, they set up all the food, while I did the drinks and gift bags.
And I was so rushed for the next hours running the party and trying to keep everything running that I didn’t end up taking any pics.
Luckily, my friends did, including RE Mike, who showed up with his kid.
Me: Man, I didn’t take any pics…
Him: I took a ton. I’ll send you them.
The kids had a grand time. Essentially, we played two out of the 10 games I planned to play.
Me: I’m think of just letting them run wild around the gym while I day-drink.
Him: I think that’s a better idea than trying to stop them from playing their own games.
Me: Thank god, I’m having a beer…or three.
Him: You did a really good job, man.
Me: Did I?
Him: (shrugging) No one got hurt, there’s food left over, and the kids are disappointed it’s over. That’s a success.
My buddies took my kid back so I could focus on cleaning up the place.
Seven hours after everything started, I was done.
Me: Did you have a fun time, kid?
Him: Yes! (thinking, sadly) I have to wait a whole ‘nother year before I get another birthday party.
Me: (laughing) Thank goodness for that. (gently) It’ll be here before you know it, kid.
Him: I wish mommy was here. She could sing me “Happy Birthday.”
Me: (sighing) You and me both, kid. You and me both. But, I’ll sing it to you.
Like I said, the hours drag but the years keep sprinting away.
Here’s to the good days, to the bad days
To the breakups and the birthdays
Here’s to the best days, to the worst days
‘Cause I know that [we]’ll be okay
Location: home, heading straight to bed now that I’ve been poked and prodded all day
Mood: fulla food so, fat and happy
Music: You can’t feel the sun without the rain (Spotify)
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