While Simon actually turned 5 on Thursday, and had some desserts with friends at both of his classes, the festivities were really on Saturday.
Diana is of course the best mom ever, so she landed two awesome plans. First, she arranged a play date with Simon's neighborhood friends in the morning. There are three other families that we've gotten to know over the last year, with kids in Simon's range (one of the parents is also my coworker). We had a nice, no-pressure, no-gift requires little meet up that included cupcakes. I kind of liked this better than a big production of a birthday party, and Simon really enjoyed it too.
Mom's other score came from a coworker, who happens to also work at Blue Man Group, and she scored some comp tickets to see the show. Of course I've been a fan for almost a decade, but I introduced Simon to one of the videos a few years ago, and he was hooked. How convenient that moving to Orlando meant there was a local show! This was his third time seeing it, and he was really into it. We're so lucky to have such easy access to stuff like this, not to mention a network that gets us in free.
As far as gifts, to this point we've been lucky that Simon isn't much of a "I want that" kind of kid (though he's starting to understand that you can take things home from Target if you give them money). We actually had a couple of things in the queue already. We had at Christmas a Spaceship Earth (Epcot) toy that we got super cheap as an open-box. It's a poorly designed toy, but the kid loves the ride. Diana also encountered this really cool car/track toy at the local science museum called NeoTracks, and we bought that hoping he would be willing to experiment with different layouts because it's so easy to snap apart and together. We're just trying to use more imagination, so we'll see how it goes.
Even though we didn't ask for gifts, my coworker bought him another parking lot tram, one of his favorite wheeled toys, and one of the other neighbors brought him a ton of Lego that they acquired. He got hooked up!
I hope the birthday was memorable for Simon to some degree, but at least I know it was memorable for us. He's been a handful lately in terms of doing what we ask (a problem spreading to school, unfortunately), but he was generally pleasant and sweet this weekend. This afternoon, while Diana was at work, we've had a nice quiet afternoon at home. I love that little boy so much, and even though he's not good at chilling out and watching TV for much more than 10 minutes, I'll take that cuddle time and cherish it. I know it won't last much longer.
I think there will definitely be some challenges this year, but we're pretty engaged with him, and getting a better feel for when we should help, and when he should struggle to learn. Who knows what the next year will bring!