I’ve just returned from my nephew’s 4th birthday party in Kalihi, at my mother’s home. In order to blog about this party I have to give some background about the house in Kalihi.
It’s located on a main street that cuts through the heart of Kalihi connecting major streets along the way. A block down and across the street is KPT, Kuhio Park Terrace, a low income housing project area that is quite large. On the east side of my mom’s house are two gas stations and a Jack in the Box. In front of the home, literally just adjacent to the garage is a bus stop. Across the street in the same spot is a health clinic and another major bus stop. It is a chaotic, noisy, always eventful part of the neighborhood. There are always fights, riots, police chases, people getting hit by cars in the crosswalks, singing at the bus stops…it is NEVER ending.
My sister is a fabulous party giver. She has goody bags for all the children. There is always a pinata and other games such as a version of pin the tail on the donkey except tonight it was Pikachu on the wall, not a donkey. The kids had to place a circle in the shape of a basketball near Pikachu. Then there “Pass the Present” game where the children passed around the wrapped present while music is played. When the music stopped, the person with the present can start to rip it open until the music starts again. It’s like musical chairs. Then of course they had the pinata and then musical chairs. It is always so much fun to watch kids trying to pay attention to play games-there is so much going on and everyone wants a turn. One even threw a full out crying tantrum on the floor. It was all very dramatic, but it was a party, why not a crying baby?
I thought it was funny when it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Isaiah. There were 2 cakes. A rainbow flavored cake and an ice cream cake. They had 4 candles on each and I think one more for good luck. My sister had to push Isaiah to the middle so he could be in front of his own cakes. Even in the picture you can see Jacob towering over Isaiah (with the gray vest on), trying to be all up against the cakes! HAHA! But there was one little boy who blew out the candles on one cake before we sang the song so all of us said, don’t blow the candles! The boy started crying and crying as we sang the song and in my pictures is this crying kid! LOL….it was kind of funny.
Half way through the party the noise level was loud and people were everywhere around the desserts and food table, people were still arriving and still eating. The kids were on full adrenaline and excitement as my sister tried to assemble them on the floor for the Pass the Present game. There were kids running all over the place. So many things were going on at one time…and I felt, exhausted? I’m sure by other reasons as well, but so many things were going on…and then Josh turns to me and says, “Hey the band is here.”
I turned to him like he was crazy and asked, “What band?” Like the moment wasn’t chaotic and overwhelming enough. I see a group of filipino women now in our garage and one of them has a guitar. I see my dad smiling and laughing with my cousin and one of the women was talking to them. Josh seriously thought my family got people to sing at the party but I was so confused. My sister was trying to assemble the kids on the floor and then started playing music from her iPad for the Pass the Present game and then I turned to Josh who’s laughing with my cousins because of the strangeness and randomness of what was going on. It was CHAOTIC.
The “band” were carolers and they started singing “Feliz Navidad” in the middle of our garage! One of the other women went around asking for donations. I started laughing out loud when someone else stood next to me and said, who are those women? I said, Carolers!
Josh said, “Wow, only in Kalihi!’…meaning, ONLY at my mom’s house in Kalihi do these random things happen! This is when I looked at everyone at the party and people that made eye contact with me had that same bewildered look on their face and started smiling or laughing. My cousin, actually mouthed, “blog this!”
One time a strange old man walked into our garage as we were decorating for Jacob’s birthday party. I thought he was with my sister’s in-laws and only an hour later when we started asking who he was, we realize he was a complete stranger sitting in the garage. I thought he was a relative of theirs, they thought he was a relative of ours. It was CRAZY! Another New Year’s Eve party in 1999, we had a party there again and the front gate was open. A couple who came off the bus walked into our garage and started trying to make a plate of food. That almost started a fight because he didn’t want to leave and really wanted food-but HELLO! That was so weird. We let him have the food but it was just so strange…and it’s not a neighborhood where it’s cool to let random enter your property. We had many people think our home was public property…it wasn’t pretty.
So, tonight I think we left at about 8:30pm but before I left I had to grab something upstairs in the house, well Isaiah was following Josh and I with a balloon he was afraid of letting go, but the string was so long Josh was afraid he’d trip so Josh wound up the string and handed it to me. I followed Isaiah in the house and I asked: Isaiah are you going upstairs? and he said, “Yeah, I’m done.”
Literally, he was done for the night. Like, it’s my party and I’m over it-DONE. He is so cute. He wanted me to make sure I put the balloon somewhere so it wouldn’t fly up to the high ceiling, so I tied it loosely to a chair as he started disrobing in the living room. Oh wow, he was tired. He was literally done. He’d been running all over the place since 5:30pm…how exciting for a young boy turning 4 to have a party with games and pop pops, lots of gifts and envelopes, and tons of family giving you love…he had a blast 🙂 He’s lucky he has a mom who throws him the most fun parties.
And THAT was my night…:-)