Blue Candy Story Time
When Tyler"s mother asked what kind of birthday party he wanted, his answer surprised her."I want a Caribbean party," he said."I want to dance to Reggae and eat coconuts and shrimp. I want parrots and plantains""
"Who are you, and what did you do with my son?" Melody said."You"re turning ten. I thought you"d want Power Rangers or Transformers."
Tyler sighed."This is my birthday party, Mom. It"s a big deal. It"s my reputation we"re talking about. Besides, Raymond had Power Rangers and Lewis had Transformers. They"re out. We studied the Caribbean in school. Everybody liked it"
"How about pirates in your Caribbean?"
"No. Dennis did that."
Trips to the party shop, time online and advice from Tyler, who had become an Island expert, helped Melody pull it together. She had fun collecting fake palm trees, a parrot pi"ata, beach hats and coconut shells to hold candy. On the morning of the party, she spread four bags of white sand onto blue vinyl table cloths, making an imitation beach, put the Slip"n Slide out and hung the pi"ata. She lay flip flops and beach hats out for the guests and put a huge blow-up dolphin in the center of the table. Candy holders were filled with Gummi Killer Sharks, Island Punch jelly beans and Ice Blue Mints.
As swimsuit-clad boys arrived, bouncing and yelling their excitement, Melody pulled out coconut shrimp and her husband started grilling Jamaican jerk chicken. Laughter and hoots punctuated the sound of Reggae as the boys began their games. When the pi"ata was totaled, the chicken nothing but a memory, the yard a puddle of mud and the last of the guests gone home, Tyler gave his mom and dad a wet, dirty hug."It was great," he said, grabbing the last of the Gummi Sharks and heading for the door."Thanks!"
Melody and Clark smiled at each other."Good job," they told each other in unison. Looking at the mess in the yard and the setting sun, Clark took Melody"s hand and led her toward the house."This island boy"s done for the day," he said."We"ll take care of the mess tomorrow."
"What are we going to do instead?"
Clark smiled."I thought I might instruct you in the way of the hula."
Melody began to laugh."Hula, huh? Lead the way, Island-boy. Lead the way."
-by Debora Dyess