Party Lessons

Party Lessons

On Dad's Watch, ParentingOn several occasions, I’ve written about our kids’ annual birthday party, an event, which Mikey starts planning the moment he says good-bye to the last friend at his current celebration. What can I say? The boy is a forward thinker.

I’ve penned shtick around the financial outlay and the hassle of moving our living room furniture down to the beach, but the yearly agony is waiting for kids to show up. It’s frightening to think that the only attendees to your kid’s party will be his parents and sister. It’s also kind of silly for four people to sit on the beach with a stack of 25 extra large pizza pies and a few coolers of soft drinks.

Lisa’s angst erupts about two weeks prior and lasts right up until the time when we’re about to say, “Buddy, don’t feel bad. Kids your age don’t go to birthday parties any more.” But then, miraculously, ALL of Redondo High and several alumni classes show up at once. One year I had to order more sand.

But, when you have a child with Tourette’s, they sometimes focus on the negative…often around bedtime. In this case, our son wanted to know why Lady Gaga didn’t show. Actually, he was a bit miffed that some kids had other plans, despite his multi-year advance notice. I explained that there will always be those invitees who just can’t or don’t want to come to a party and he just had to accept it…and not ask the kid who went to a funeral for a death certificate…just kidding on that one. The truth of the matter was, I was far more interested in teaching him to focus on the positive.

“Think of the fun you had and ALL the people that DID come.” I thought about asking if he wanted to be a “glass half empty or full” kinda guy, but had the notion he’d say, “It depends on whether I’m drinking or pouring.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Buddy, there were so many friends, people heard your birthday song in Seattle!”

That got a chuckle.

“OK, goodnight Dad.”

“Good night son.”

And that was that.

Authored by: Michael Malgeri

Michael lives in Redondo Beach with his wonderful wife and their beautiful children, the stars of "On Dad's Watch." He makes a living in the software industry and pursues writing in between fun family events. Along with "On Dad's Watch," Michael believes there's a need to teach young people about the morality and practicality of Capitalism as well as provide them with an alternative perspective on environmental issues. His books on these topics can be found at

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