February 28, for example. I think he must have heard about it at school, how February is a special month with only 28 days. For whatever reason, that date got stuck in his head, and he started asking for frequent countdown updates. I'd show him where we were on the calendar, and how many days it would take to get to February 28. He had me write the words "THIS IS A PARTY" in that day's box. He referred to it daily.
In the days leading up to the 28th, he talked about what he planned for his party. He came up with a guest list. He thought about presents. (He decided they'd be a surprise: jewelry for me, and a yellow tie for Coach.) He'd ask, "Aren't you going to be surprised when I give you your presents? Isn't that nice of me to make you presents?"
He wrote lists.
(I think "FRI" was going to be "FRIENDS," but he got distracted.)
When the day finally arrived, he spent the morning talking about how much there was to do to get ready for the party (see list). Not listed, but still a high priority, was making decorations. I gave him a pair of scissors and a stack of colored paper, and he cut these flags out all by himself.
In the end, it might not have been exactly the party he had in mind. (His beloved Abygail wasn't able to make it, and he briefly considered canceling the whole thing.) But we had a great turnout otherwise -- both my friends and his. (Coach was out of town, so he didn't get to invite anyone.) And I think everyone had a good time. While the grown ups sat around chatting and making jewelry, the kids played. There was great food. And all the ladies went home with something pretty.
Sam already has several more parties planned for the next few weeks. I'm glad, because Coach has a busy travel schedule this spring, and all this partying will give both me and Sam something to look forward to.
So put your party hats on and get over here. You're totally on the list. And Sam's counting down.