Kicked a soccer ball, no two soccer balls, around Katie’s sister’s family’s backyard with H and lil A and their cousins. We were at their place in Kansas City KS (okay, a suburb of KCK) for their kids’ birthday parties. Yes, one party for two children, I don’t know how long you can get away with that but it’s a nice trick as long as it works.

The party started at “Old Shawnee Pizza,” a rambling mid-century joint with beer, your classic pizza joint salad (iceberg lettuce, plenty of cheese and bacon bits) and pizza with a thin, flaky, yet will not sag under the weight of the toppings crust. They had some beers I don’t think I’ve tried but it was 11 in the morning and a long day of keeping track of children and driving halfway across the state lay ahead.

Children’s parties have themes now, even beyond the primary themes of cake, ice cream, and presents. One child’s theme was “Star Wars” (I don’t know if it was “Force Awakens” specific or if all the movies, not to mention books, blogs, and angry tweets, were on), the other kid’s theme was “Frozen.” If you haven’t heard of this obscure flick, it’s animated and it features a queen with magical icy powers who, despite her heroic and tragic attempts to control them, unleashes them upon her kingdom on the day of her ascension to the throne.

There was the customary cake and ice cream, and presents, the lust for a nap, and then the ball kicking. And in a twist right not out of a sitcom the only balls footed were designed for such activity while Dad’s balls were left unaccosted. Toward the end of play my oldest son did decide that I must be tackled. Fortunately I’m still capable of warding off the attacks of most average sized solitary 9 year olds, especially ones overtaken by giggling.

Final note: the game was kept fun and moving by fences. My in-laws entire back yard is fenced in and so I didn’t have to take off chasing soccer balls or my 3 year old across the county, which is what happens on the open prairie that is our neighborhood.

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