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Birthdays in Roma for My Little Expat

The sheer mention of birthdays for my son and having it in Rome used to give me utter agita.  I remember his fifth birthday and we were still living in the temporary housing, that we’d had for 6 months, and I felt lost.

At that point he was attending his second school, the first did not work out well for us.  The second school felt like that warm blanket youget under after being out in the frigid cold in a cozy bed and think, “There’s no place like home.”  He was connecting with friends and had a great level of comfort.  But to have a party–maybe not.  He had just started the school less than two months ago and school was ending.  Lucky me, his birthday was the 18th of June and we, like most students, were leaving Rome on or around the 22nd.  I was able to actually do the impossible and find a bake shop, or a pasticceria, to make cupcakes.  You may think this is NO FEAT, but oh, this was an actual magic act.  First, I had no utensils in the temporary apartment to make them.  Can you imagine making those with a hot plate?  But wait, just where would you find a cake mix in Rome?  There is no Target unless you are Michael Phelps and the Atlantic does not look a bit daunting.  But, I managed it a day in advance (not the swim the cupcake order)  and got it to the school.  I was a great American Hero.  We then celebrated the birthday with a party in the Stati Uniti (United States).

But, for Birthdays 6 and 7, things were different.  Our lives were changing a bit.  Visas were solidified and our timing to visit the United States had changed.  Well, many things had changed in those respective 10 and 22 month time frames.  I was able to get to know more parents, taking notes on parties they planned for their children and where.  I was better able to understand the culture in our British International School and a bit of the Italian culture.  With my son’s 6th Birthday I had a great suggestion, a bowling party–it was a hit.  So big, that more kids, in my son’s class, wanted to either go bowling or have this as their party the following year.

However, I found that I may have outdid myself.  Now, there were a few flaws to the party, simply based on timing of the silly rules of the Bowl-a-Roma place.  But, I could not house it at our apartment and I was afraid to do an event that was weather dependent.  Then I felt like I split the atom when  I discovered that another bowling place that had–Miniature Golf!  To clarify, we had not been to a bowling party until Shane’s and now he would have the first Golf themed party.  I have to stress that Golfing is not popular here in Italy, I mean the Italian word is “Golf”.  How Scottish is that?

As the invites went out, I was finding that excitement was in the air.  Then, my son wanted to change it to a Star Wars theme.  As I recounted all the Star Wars films, there was not one that I recalled where Hans Solo, Chewie and Luke were scheduling a tee times.  I racked my brain to recall if possibly Darth hit the back nine with some of his stormtroopers…then it hit and I recalled this video….

But, I was able to get Star Wars into the party, compliments of my talented friend Rocio!  She even surprised me by making a Light Saber and Yoda.  It was unreal.  Another big and wonderful surprise?  The birthday boy hit a hole in one on the most difficult hole of the entire course!  It was the best day ever!  And no, we did not pay extra in the Birthday package for it.

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