One rather awesome kid, plus
One fabulous group rate at the local pool, plus
One small measure of maternal guilt for skipping the annual Christmas cookie party and never buying him that swing set, plus
One more pinch of guilt for working, thus restricting his social & after school activities, plus
One set of lifeguards to minimize any incidental drowning, plus
One mega class of 30 kids, plus
One mother's hefty aversion to mountains of plastic crap, plus
One small teachable moment nudge from Mommy, plus
One (or two) reminders that he'll still get lots of stuff at the family party, equals
One memorable birthday blow-out and a mountain of donations for the Crisis Nursery.
Damn, but I am proud of him.
Happy 9th Birthday.