Last Wednesday, Bean turned seven years old. SEVEN. As in, the number between six and eight. As in, WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!
On his birthday, we sprung him out of school and went to Universal for the day. My inner teacher self was totally opposed to this idea, for the record. But I was overruled by my family. And I’m so glad I was because we had such a fun day!
Chris’s best friend was in town for the week from New York, so Justin came long, which was great because I don’t like roller coasters, so Chris had a buddy to ride with. Speaking of rides, have you heard about these “child swap rooms” at some theme parks? Universal has them, but I never really knew what they were until this trip. AND THEY ARE AWESOME! Basically, it’s an air conditioned room right near the beginning of the ride for you to wait with children who are too small to ride. There are chairs and benches and televisions with movies playing. It is GREAT! The kids and I hung out in them whenever the boys rode something scary, and we had a grand time! They appreciated the movies, I appreciated the chance to put my feet up for a bit, and we all appreciated the air conditioning!
Chris got us these amazing passes from a big wig he knows from Universal, which are the same passes celebrities use when they visit parks. It was awesome! At every ride, the ride operator would see our pass around our necks and immediately would call for an escort. This person would take us through these crazy backdoor “authorized personnel only” doors and elevators, and suddenly we would pop out at the front of the line.
We felt kind of bad about it because some of the people were waiting over an hour to ride a ride and we would just appear out of nowhere and take their spot in line. BUT IT WAS AWESOME! We got to ride in the front row of every ride! And because our passes got us onto rides to quickly, we rode 18 rides in two theme parks in eight hours!
The kids had a great day, too. Bean is big enough now to ride most of the rides, so that was fun for him. And Gracie and I even rode a lot of the 3D ones, too.
And as if skipping school to play at a theme park wasn’t enough of a birthday celebration, he also got a wand from Olivander’s Wand Shop in the Harry Potter part of the park. Bean is super into Harry Potter right now. He is reading the first book and I’m re-reading the series now, too, so he was blown away by both the HP areas of Universal. It was so neat to see something that he had read in a book completely come to life. I remember that magical feeling when I first saw the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, too, and I’m so glad Bean gets to experience that now.
He got an interactive wand that makes magic happen at different places inside the park. There were these little gold plates in the ground in front of anywhere he could make magic happen. Then, he had to wave his wand in different strokes and if he did the spell just right, he could make magic! He made lights come on in a building. He made it rain on a sidewalk. He made a book open and come to life right in front of us. It was pretty awesome.
All in all, it was a pretty awesome birthday. Which is good because Bean’s a pretty awesome kid. Sometimes I can’t believe he is mine. When he was a little baby, I used to think about him as a big kid, but nothing I could imagine then is anywhere close to as wonderful as he really is now. He is smart, kindhearted, considerate, funny, brave, independent, and just really fun to be around. He changed our world forever when he came into it, and I am so lucky that he did. I couldn’t be more proud of the person he is becoming.
We love you, Bean!