We celebrated the third birthdays of my nephew Caleb and his best friend Grace recently. Last year, it was a bigger digger party. This year, it was a rainbow race car party – combo theme as chosen by the birthday kids.
Caleb’s dad (my brother Mark) and Grace’s dad (Thomas), best mates since primary school, orchestrated the box car concept for the party, gathering suitable cardboard boxes and designing a prototype that could be worn by a child racer, with windscreen, front and rear lights, wheels and with optional spoiler and front antenna (for radio reception, what else?). They set up a pit stop area on the patio where the party guests constructed their race cars – kids assisted by adults (or maybe kids putting the adults to work!), with all the necessary supplies – push-pins, sticky tape, paper plates for wheels, cupcake/muffin patty papers for lights, coloured pens, stencils, crepe paper and other items for customising the cars.
After we’d all had some afternoon tea, the box cars and their drivers were rounded up as we made our way to the local park where the race track and Rainbow Race Car Grand Prix awaited.
The cars zoomed around the track, engines roaring with squeals and giggles. I won’t lie – there were a few spills and tears on the track. But the pit crews were ever watchful and stepped in swiftly when young drivers got a little overwhelmed.
After the initial frenzy, some of the kids parked their cars off the track, preferring the freedom of running along without being in a box, while others stayed in the driver’s seat for as long as possible.
I know I’m not the only adult who wished there was a box big enough for me. Juji and I started a discussion about what electrical appliance would provide the right-sized box to make a race car for an adult. Whatever box it was made from, my car would have wings, red trim and be Number 3.
Even after multiple box car races and running races, the kids were eager to keep racing, so a new series of walking races was announced.
And off they went…again!
The races finally came to an end – it was time for birthday cake. The chocolate rainbow race car birthday cake was baked by Caleb’s mum Angela, then assembled and iced by Grace’s mum Emma.
We all sang happy birthday while the those closest to front wriggled impatiently in anticipation.
The race car cake was delicious, moist and stick-to-your-teeth-chocolatey. Of course, rainbow icing and rainbow napkins made it even more enjoyable.
I know I’ve said it before, but I love taking photographs at the kids’ birthday parties. I hope they’ll enjoy looking at these pictures in years to come.