Josh Herald at one-year-old, a wonder kid

Josh Herald celebrated his first birthday yesterday. It was not as splendid as his elder brothers’ first birthday parties, as it was held just in our residence. No clown, no games, no gift toys, no program at all. These were the only elements missing. But the Goldilocks cake, balloons, fried chicken and spaghetti were there. The latter were home-made, far more delicious than McDonalds’.

Two weeks ago, his parents, in the face of a deep financial constraint, thought hard whether to throw a party at McDonalds, a budding tradition in the family. This was on pain of securing loans to make the kids-friendly party possible. Several days into the birthday celebration, I was made to decide against McDonalds, a very practical choice. We spent over P3000 as compared to the typical cost of P8000 at the American food chain.

Simple party or not, satisfaction on the part of the celebrant is what matters. Our youngest son was jubilant. He liked the toys mounted on his cake. He drooled at the sight of a gift from Daddy and Mommy–a kiddie ride-on truck. He smiled at his godparents and co-kids. He was eager to play with balloons displayed around.

The party could have been more successful had more godparents come. But we understood their respective situations. Ninong Marvin was too sick to come, Ninong Sonny was in Bicol, Ninang Pi was abroad, Ninong Ed had to attend to a very political matter, and so on. We are thankful to Ninang Linn (the early bird), Ninang Lorna, and Ninong Danny who made a point to come to the party.

With all that happened, Dad could not be happier. He held his son tight and whispered in his ear: “Isang taon ka na anak. Happy birthday. I love you.”

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