To put things in perspective, this is how Cailey looked when I began this blog.
She was five. I closed many of my older posts because my blog was rather bloated with ALL THE WORDS. But some of my favorite posts about Cailey included her penchant for exacting revenge on unsuspected siblings with the use of boogers. I remember the early years when she took a shine to a particular boy who only liked to wear one shoe. A concerned Emme confided in me, “Mom, why does she like him, he PICKS HIS NOSE.” I thought, well, at least they share an interest.
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated that little pistol’s THIRTEENTH birthday. Since 13 is a momentous occasion, I threw all caution to the wind and agreed to host a birthday party. Since we’re on a budget, I knew it had to be a creative birthday party.
Between my 3 children, I can count on one hand the number of birthday parties that I’ve thrown. I’ve gotten away with LET’S GO TO DISNEY WORLD for nearly all of their birthdays. Which is a wonderful treat. But I knew that Cailey’s heart’s desire was to celebrate with her sweet posse of giggly girlfriends. And she is truly blessed with a gang of adorable fellow teens and tweens.
I sold her on the idea of Camp Cailey because I thought it would be fun (and NOT EXPENSIVE) to set up the camping equipment in our postage stamp sized back yard. Cailey helped to organize camp-style backyard games such as Musical Camping Chairs, Paint a Pet Rock, and general story telling and much frivolity.
Because I overestimated what needed to be done and underestimated the time it would take to get everything ready, about 30 minutes before the girls were to arrive I suffered a near-fatal mental breakdown. I wish I were kidding. My girlfriend, Andrea, texted me at that moment to see if there was anything I needed. I replied, “I’m in over my head. Help.” She texted back, “I’m on my way.” And in that moment I knew everything was going to be okay.
And it was.
The party was scheduled from 4 until 9 that evening. Because I’m insane. I finally did the math, and that was FIVE HOURS OF PARTY. There was nothing to worry about, as the time was filled with festive eating of Ants on a Log, Chili Dogs, Chips, and what have you. After dark we put a movie on in the tent (on our old TV with a VCR) and the girls huddled up with blankets and watched a princess movie. Afterwards, a camp fire was lit and s’mores were consumed.
As moms and dads arrived to take their campers home, a friend of mine remarked, “Wow, your yard looks great!” (You would laugh if you knew of our yard-keeping inabilities.) I said, “Yes, in the dark and if you squint, it’s not bad!”
Cailey had the best birthday party ever, spent with precious friends.
It is hard for me to believe that my baby girl is a tall and lanky teenager now. We can only hope that when the right time comes, she’ll be attracted to a young Godly man who wears both shoes. And perhaps one who keeps his fingers out of his nose.
I am so going to owe her a hundred dollars for this post.