Younger Son is 10 today! Happy Birthday, Noodle!
Since today is Super Bowl Sunday, we had his birthday party last Sunday. Being a typical ten-year-old boy, his idea of birthday party nirvana was a paintball party at the local Marine Corps base. And this ideal party included every member of his family playing on his team--including Mom.
From left to right, that's Younger Son, Older Son, Oldest Son, Mom, and Dad. (Please ignore my shaggy grey hair. I haven't been to the stylist in a while.)
I would dearly love to show you the great picture of our backs, but I can't because they have our last name on them and my dear, paranoid husband won't let me display them on the internet. They also each have an individual number. From left to right (youngest to oldest), the numbers are 00, 97, 85, 69, and 57. Any guesses what they represent?
The shirts were Christmas gifts from Oldest Son, who had them made for the whole family. I just love that he did this. Even if I never play paintball again (and let me tell you, I won't if I have a choice), it's so cool to have family team shirts. It's cool that he thought of it in the first place. And the younger boys are so proud of their "real" paintball jerseys!
The party was awesome. The kids absolutely loved it. The title quote is from one of the boys' friends who had never played before. The paintball park is boy heaven. There are multiple fields and hundreds of men and boys in camouflage--some of them waaaaaay too into it, too, let me tell ya--and lots of mud and paint and running and crawling and shooting. All day. From 7:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. What's not to like? (I mean, other than the camouflage, mud, paint, running, crawling, and shooting all day.) I think I saw a couple of other women, but I'm not sure. They might just have been small, chubby men. It's hard to tell under all that mud and paint.
The saving grace, for me, was that my husband wisely scheduled us as a private party, meaning our group played on its own field instead of in the general melee of the walk-on fields. At one point, I looked over at a walk-on field and saw two groups of about 40 people each running at each other and shooting. It looked like something out of "300". People were screaming and falling right and left. It wasn't pretty. Our group was much, much smaller, and involved a lot more strategy. After the first time I got shot in the body--as opposed to the face mask, hand, or gun--which left a black and purple bruise the size of a tennis ball on my hip, my strategy mostly ran to hiding behind things and waiting for the time to run out. As a matter of fact, at one point, I...um...sort of...fell asleep behind a bunker and when I woke up, everyone was gone!
By lunch time, the crouching, crawling, running, tripping, shooting, and getting shot had taken its toll. I was sore, stiff, and bruised, most of the skin was worn off my knees, and I was covered in paint and mud. While the troops were enjoying their pizza, I quietly used my cell phone to call and schedule a chiropractor visit and spa massage for the following morning. That was a good decision, considering it took me three tries to get out of the car when we got home. And even though I went to bed at 8:30 that night, my kids still think I'm a stud for playing paint ball, so it was worth it!