We are Vortec, rulers of the red team

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

When I was a child we would get a cake and a couple of presents for our birthday. The only question my mother would ask was whether we would like a chocolate cake or a yellow cake.

The world has changed, and now parents ask, “What venue would you like for your birthday party?”

“Really?” I have exclaimed.

But rather than bucking change, I have embraced it. In the past year I have attended four different venues. The first was a swimming pool party where I was able to fly down the water slide with a 6-year-old and then leap off a high dive with a 7-year-old.

Then there was the Museum for Children with a multitude of learning centers, including an apple-packing shed and a science kitchen.

But my favorite was the ambulance where I played the role of the “accident victim.”

Then I attended an old Western-style party where everyone dressed up in cowboy and cowgirl outfits. There were games to play like ring toss and similar “cowboy themed” activities. In the corner stood an old jail where you could get your picture taken. I had to crawl into the jail for my “behind the bars” photo.

Finally, and the most recent, was the laser tag party. My 3-year-old partner was the youngest attendee and I was the oldest. We were assigned to the red team and given the name Vortec.

Most of the kids were around 7 years old so she and I sat in a dark corner developing our strategy. We discovered that if a blue vest was not blinking, then it took 6 seconds for their laser guns and vests to light up again. Once they started blinking we could fire our laser guns and earn points. We used that knowledge to our advantage as unsuspecting blue team players would walk by us in darkened vests.

My partner Annie would start to count; “Six, five, four, three, two, one! Got you! We are Vortec! Rulers of the Red team!”

After the game was over, we left the player’s zone exhausted (me more so than her) and found that a Pokémon cake was being served.

It was when my daughter asked, “Would you like chocolate cake or yellow cake?” that I realized some things do not change after all.