The Daughter always seemed to have far fewer birthday parties with her friends than most of her classmates. Oh, there would be the gatherings with family, including her maternal grandparents, and usually a pair of her cousins and an uncle and aunt. But it has been unbalanced. Once a couple years ago, we did a party at the State Museum with her friends, but that was it.
She indicated a few months ago that she wanted a surprise party; not sure why. But we decided to make it so. First, we had a little gathering the weekend before her birthday with her mom, dad, and grandparents, so she didn’t think we’d blown her off. Then we rented a room at the local bowling alley for a couple hours.
The morning of the party, I put together the gift bags for the children attending, distracted the Daughter while her mother sneaked the cake she made out of the house, got her dressed, and so forth.
I also got her to help clean the house based on the rumor that Grandma and Grandma might be staying over. That was actually unlikely, but it was possible that her other uncle/aunt/cousin from southern Pennsylvania, might be staying over.
About a half hour before showtime, we tell the Daughter we are going bowling, so she’d be wearing socks. As we walked into the room, and people yell “Surprise”, she’s confused and a little frightened; she sees some unfamiliar people, a couple siblings and parents of her friends, who she does not know. But soon, she has sussed out that this is the surprise party she had requested, and smiled broadly.
The kids, and some of the parents, bowled for an hour. Then we had pizza (quite good, actually), cake that the Wife made, plus supplied ice cream. The time was too short to actually open presents, though (or we planned it not so well.) All of my wife’s family went over to our house.
You may recall that the TV set died last month. Well, this was the next day, and my two brothers-in-law said they’d take me shopping – two shopping trips in two weekends, which was unprecedented for me. At least this one was singular in focus. Went to Radio Shack, which had TVs either too large or way too small. Then to Green Furniture – the running joke was that it was my cousin’s place – but they’re out of the TV business. Eventually, we make it to BJ’s Wholesale; one brother-in-law has a membership. We need something that will fit into a 29″ wide and 18″ high space, and we find something. The old TV had a tube; this TV, the screen part was thinner than a sturdy book.
Oh, and that brother-in-law decided that, instead of him paying for the adults bowling (which he had offered), and for his share of the dinner (previously agreed to), he’d just pay for the TV and call it even, or part of MY birthday present! In any case, an unexpected turn of events.
The family gathered for dinner, after which there was a second surprise party, for Lydia’s grandma, who was turning a certain age divisible by five. Among her presents, a certain number of wishes, written by her four granddaughters. Eventually, one of Carol’s brothers and his family returned home; the other brother and his family, with the longer trip, went to his parents’ house.
A glorious day.