Pokemon Party

Happy birthday, Leigh!

Our son is now six-years-old and we celebrated the milestone with a couple of Pokemon parties.

Leigh caught Pokemon fever a few months ago. I find it so funny a trading card game that’s been around since I was a kid has made such a big comeback with this new generation. After starting as a cartoon television show in 1997, Pokemon transcended time when the augmented reality game debuted in 2016 (appropriately the same year our child was born).

Leigh is addicted to playing Pokemon Go on my phone. The mobile app drives him to explore his community, battle with online friends and search for rare Pokemon with dad. My husband enjoys sharing his old Pokemon card collection – a special father-son moment I didn’t expect to happen – and we always pick up new packs of trading cards from the game shop in town, Xtreme Games.

Naturally, when we asked him what kind of party he wanted for his 6th birthday, he yelled “POKEMON!” Experiencing your childhood during a pandemic has its downfalls and birthday gatherings are one of them. He has not been able to have a big party to celebrate since his 3rd birthday. He can’t even remember three years ago.

I remember how disappointed we (his parents) were to cancel his 4th birthday LEGO party. I published this story, stating we’d postponed his party until after the shelter in place declaration is lifted. Two years later and I can only grit my teeth knowing how long the pandemic would last. This year our household is fully vaccinated and it’s time to get on with our lives the best we can. Last year, we were so lucky with warm temps for his drive-by birthday party! I can only bank enough luck for one outdoor March birthday party.

Since Leigh is in kindergarten, we invited his entire class to a private movie screening of Pokemon Pikachu Detective at the local theatre. Everyone enjoyed popcorn and drinks at Antioch Theatre. They all went home with little Pokemon boxes filled with cupcakes, Pokemon cards, keychains and candy. Eric and I spent most of the film running kids back and forth from the bathroom and refilling popcorn and drinks — extra exhausting.

We also invited over all his grandparents for pizza at our house. Antioch Pizza is his favorite food and it’s conveniently a perfect party food. I baked a Pokeball cake with a custom cake topper from Etsy – chocolate, of course. And we made chocolate chip cookies decorated like Pokeballs, too.

Leigh helped transform Peeps into Pikachus with some simple adjustments. I love turning a task into a creative outlet where he can help. And I lucked out Easter is around his birthday and peeps are well-stocked on the store shelves.

One of our favorite party favors turned out to be a custom Pokemon trading card design. We made Leigh a series of his very own Pokemon cards. What a hit! Give it a try. It’s free, easy and super fun.

I love how Leigh’s birthday comes at the end of winter’s cold. We’re just getting the first signs of spring with flower bulbs popping up, birds chirping and more afternoon sunlight. It will always be the most special time of the year for me. And I never take for granted an occassion where our entire family can come together under one roof.

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