Before Christmas, Addy, one of Kelly's BFF's came up to me one day and out of the blue said "Kelly is sad that she never gets birthday parties."
I raised an eyebrow. This was the first that I'd heard about it.
And then she said "So I would like to give her a surprise party for her birthday."
Well, that sounded like a fine idea. I'm glad that Kelly has such a good group of caring friends. I gave it my blessing. And I didn't think too much about it again.
While we were up in Canada, I got an email from Addie. "Hi, its me. idk what u wanna do for K party?"
Hmm. I read this, and first, I need to get the translator out. Then I realize that Addie isn't giving Kelly a birthday party. Her gift is to hound me until *I* give her a birthday party.
So I email back, and say "What sort of ideas did you have? And how many girls would you like to invite? If you want to do a sleepover at our house, it needs to be a group of six at the most. We could maybe do a sleepover, and then some event in the morning. I think it might be fun to go look at the Elephant Seals, but I don't know if I could get enough tickets. Otherwise, you could organize a dinner party, and maybe take Kelly out to a restaurant, and have something a little bit more grown-up. But we can't do dinner out AND a sleepover. That's just too much activity."
Her response: kk Sleepover is gr8!!!!! idk, kk let me no about tix.
Once again, translator... she likes the idea of a sleepover, and wants ME to look into getting tickets.
Ok. So I look online, and there are NO tickets for any weekend Elephant Seal tours. Bummer.
So I get back to her. "I'm sorry, the Elephant Seals are out. What about just a nice supper at a restaurant on her actual birthday (the 20th). You could invite 10 girls, and Ken and I will pay the tab. Let me know who you are going to invite, and if it would be ok, I would like you to add Carrie and Lauren to the list. They're not in your grade, but Kelly is very fond of them. She's always wanted to try out the new Cheesecake Factory, so why don't we go there for a dinner at 6pm. That gives us time to visit, and then a small amount of time to cruise the mall after dinner. That should be a good evening for 11 girls."
An hour later, I get a list "Ok, here are the 10 I would invite. You can email their parents, and send out the invitations, and I will talk to them at school this week."
Once again, the ball is in my court. So I email the parents, and get some quick positive responses,. And then I get a response that chills me "Um, I thought Cheesecake Factory didn't take reservations..."
True enough. Kink in the plans. But Addie's mom calls the restaurant, and finds out that they 'will accomodate large groups'. but they only take reservations on Fridays until 5pm. So we have to bump up the party time. And then Addie's mom suggests that we go back to her place after the supper, for cake and ice cream.
(and a little chorus of angels started singing in my brain, because FINALLY, someone other than ME is lifting a finger to help plan this party).
So Kelly will be getting a birthday supper with 10 of her friends on Friday. Now, we just had to figure out how to get her there.
We were out on Monday, Ken and Kelly running errands in his car, and Nate and I running errands in mine. We all met at Starbucks, and started just shooting the breeze about birthdays. Skip had just turned 17, so we were tossing around ideas.
"You know, Kelly, we should do something nice for your birthday. Go out for supper. Just you, me, and dad. You know the boys don't really like to go anywhere for supper except sushi, and I think it'd be fun to go someplace that would scare the boys, and leave them at home."
Her eyes lit up. "Where should we go?"
"Well," I paused for a moment... "There's The Counter - hamburgers - that's really scary for the boys. Or Cheesecake Factory - you know, it just opened in the mall. Both of those places would make the boys queasy."
She clapped, "What a great idea! What to choose!?"
I thought a moment, as if I'd just come to this thought myself, "Hmm. Well, we've already been to The Counter..."
"Oh! I want to go to Cheesecake Factory! Dad! Have you ever been? It's fabulous! There are so many great things on the menu~!"
I interrupted. "Oh! I forgot! I think you're going to Lauren's for a sleepover on Friday... maybe we shouldn't go out..."
She held up a hand "oh! What if we go out earlier for supper? Dad, could you come early? How early could we go out for supper?"
And Ken looked thoughtful, as if he wasn't giggling on the inside, or anything, and said "Well, I could get off at 430, and meet you at the restaurant at 5, how about that?"
And with that, Kelly had *planned her own birthday supper*, thinking she'd done it herself.
We. Are. So. Sneaky!
It was all I could do to not jump up and high-five Ken over our venti beverages.
I'm still kind of chafing about the party, though.
And here's what's kind of chapping my hide.
Addie thinks (and has spread it around) that Kelly is sad about not having parties. She's not.
These kids seem to be convinced that if you don't have some soda-soaked lame party at a sweat-soaked party venue, there's no reason to celebrate your friend on their birthday. Addie didn't seem to consider that I'd taken them out glass-blowing in October (FOR FREE), or all the times that I'd taken them horseback riding. Or the times we'd done special stuff at the beach, or gone out for dinner. It's just not *special* if there's not cheesy balloons and bad cake.
She wanted to 'give Kelly a party', but really has done nothing. Lately, when I'm suggesting stuff to her, she says "Do whatever you want. And get what you think we need" She's going to be a great CEO, because she's delegated every last detail. And it's costing me a fortune!
Fortunately, I unloaded this to a girlfriend who's a social scientist, and knows a TON of stuff about adolescent girl behaviour. She says that this is the age that girls start to want to step into their roles as 'young women'. They see themselves stepping into roles of hostess, or party planner, or all those social things that adults do, and they want to stretch their wings in these new avenues, but they have NONE of the tools to accomplish those goals. As I've looked at this situation in that light, I have a bit more tolerance for the poorly-typed texts that I'm getting daily telling me what I need to be doing.