Happy birthday, my friend

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Some of my best friends are really short and don’t know a lot of words.

This past week, I was invited to a birthday party. It was no black-tie event; but it sure was a lot of fun.

There was pizza, skee-ball, a slide and best of all, a gigantic mouse (at least I think he’s a mouse).

My little friend, Madelynn, celebrated her 3rd birthday last week at the very wild and crazy Chuck E. Cheese in Vestavia Hills.

Madelynn is one of my buddies from Sunday school. She’s almost ready to move to the 3-year-old class. I don’t know what I’ll do then. I sure am going to miss her.

I was so excited to be invited to her birthday party and even more honored to learn it was a special request – right from Madelynn herself.

I got to the party just in time to watch her slide a little. Then it was time to eat.

The other adults, Madelynn’s grandparents and a few others, were seated at a table with large plates and large cups. I got to sit at the kid’s table. The plates were smaller; but I did get a large cup.

And Madelynn told me to be sure I got my party prize bag. It had plastic heart-shaped sunglasses, a plastic straw and some candy.

Madelynn wasn’t sure about Chuck E. Cheese, so when he came out and danced to the Happy Birthday song, she held back. I didn’t want her to miss out on this experience, so we both got up and danced with Chuck E.

After we had finished eating pizza and then cake, we jumped back up and grabbed our tokens. We headed back out to the games, clearly the best part about that restaurant.

Then, in the blink of an eye, another of my little friends, Morgan, got stuck in the bubble at the end of a tube she had been crawling in.

The long interconnected set of tubes is a favorite for kids who like to climb and slide. Hours and hours of fun, apparently.

But Morgan got stuck in the bubble. It was terrible to see her little face as she beat on the plexiglass bubble trying to get to her mom.

I couldn’t stand it, so I tore up through that system of tubes in search of her.

I didn’t go nearly as fast as those kids were going as I tried to reach Morgan. When I finally reached her, she was very happy to see me and we rushed, as much as an adult person can rush in those tubes, to the slide and freedom.

Before I left, I cashed in my tickets – even though it was embarrassing to only have 60 when the 10-year-old next to me had 870. I did leave with two little plastic bracelets and a plastic dragonfly.

It really was a great birthday party – for me … and I think … for Madelynn, too.

Happy Birthday, Madelynn.

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at mailto:Candace.parker@shelbycountyreporter.com