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Devlyn Brooks, Published August 18 2009

Parenting Perspective: Kids put thought into party

"Dad, we want to take you somewhere fun this weekend for you birthday," Garrett, my oldest son, said last week.

“Really, and where would that be, buddy?” I asked.

“Are you ready?” he said.

“Yep,” I said. “Hit me with it.”

“We want to take you to an amusement park!” he exclaimed.

“Oh … all right then,” I said. “Ahh … that’s pretty cool.”

“I know!” Garrett said. “Bug and I wanted to bring you somewhere you’d have a lot of fun. And we know that you like to drive go-karts and play mini golf. So we decided it would be really cool to take you to an amusement park for your birthday.”

“Well, that’s awfully thoughtful of you, bud, but you guys really don’t have to bring me anywhere for my birthday.”

“But we want to,” Garrett said. “You always bring us to places where we have fun, so we want to bring you somewhere special to have fun.”

“So you’re doing this for me?” I asked. “That’s really nice, but we don’t have to go anywhere just for me.”

“But we really want to take you to an amusement park because it’s your birthday and we never go anywhere just for you.”

“Just for me, huh?” I said. “Tell you what: If we’re going to go somewhere just for me, how ’bout we take everything that’s piling up in the garage to the recycling center, go to the car wash and clean up my car and haul that old couch to the dump. If you guys would help me do all that I would consider that pretty special.”

“Dad, be serious,” Garrett said.

“I am being serious,” I said.

“Very funny, Dad, but we really mean it,” he said. “We want to do something for you.”

“So, let’s see … you two want to do something special for me so you decided that something would be to take me to an amusement park?”

“Well, at first we talked about bringing you to Chuck E. Cheese, but then we thought we were just there so you probably wouldn’t want to go there again,” he said. “So then we thought about an amusement park.”

“Sounds like you guys put a lot of thought into this,” I said.

“I know!” Garrett said. “Aren’t you excited?”

“Actually, I don’t know what to say,” I said.

“That’s OK, Dad,” he said. “We thought you’d be excited.”

“Oh, I am bud … I am,” I said. “By the way, who’s paying for our trip?”

“Oh, Dad, you know we don’t have the money,” Garrett said.

“Didn’t think so,” I said.

“You’re so funny,” he said. “So, are you excited about your birthday present, Dad?”

“Absolutely,” I said.

“We knew you would be,” he said. “We are too!”

“Yep, I figured.”


Devlyn Brooks is a news editor at The Forum. He lives in Moorhead with his two sons.