Yesterday was my seven year old son Philip’s birthday and to tell the truth it did not look at all like it was going to go well. It was one of those classic broken home scenarios, where, having told Philip’s father almost six months ago that organising his birthday was his responsibility, since I take care of basically everything else. About a week out, I got a call from the police station telling me that Philip’s father was currently in jail and that he’d told them to contact me. This was not the shock it may have been, since Philip’s father had been in jail twice before, but it meant that there was no way anything birthday related was going to be organised by him. Once again, everything was down to me and the pressure was well and truly on.
Having paid almost no attention to what Philip’s father was working on (and secretly hoping whatever it was would fail, showing Philip once and for all how worthless his father is) I had no idea where to even begin. When I explained the situation to Philip, I decided the best course of action would be to ask him candidly what he wanted to do. To my surprise, he responded he wanted to do ice skating lessons with his friends. This was rather unexpected, and as a follow up question I asked Philip why and he explained that a friend of his, Mark, had had an ice skating party and he’d really enjoyed it.
This response made sense (although I didn’t remember him talking about that particular party) and so I began to look at ice skating rinks that also acted as kids party venues. Melbourne doesn’t have that many ice skating rinks and finding one that would be happy to host fifteen seven year olds wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought. In fact, my first choice of venue happened to be free on the very day I was after. So even though Philip’s father let me down once again, and once again all the responsibility was placed squarely on my shoulders, everything turned out fine in the end.