I’m still not sure how this happened, but my oldest girl somehow turned sixteen in the last few weeks. Sixteen. Where’d the time go? Actually, I think that the relative nature of time is best demonstrated by watching children grow up, because there are definitely moments when I have felt time creep along far too slowly even while I’m also aware of it rushing pell-mell. Even those infinitely long evenings of tension and dissent are but fleeting moments on the grand canvas of life…
And so it came to pass that A- has turned 16 and is becoming a smart, savvy, young woman, an adult who is on the journey from dependent to independent.
But sixteen. Sweet 16. Time for a really good party. Problem was, she was stuck, proposing grand (read “expensive”) adventures like mixed-gender sleepovers up in the mountains after a day at the hot springs. Lots of reasons that wouldn’t work (mixed gender sleepover? really? not so much) but what to do instead? “Pizza and a movie? Bo-o-o-ring.” she explained to me about our usual party plans.
Then I hit on a great idea: how about a spa day at home? That quickly refined to us breaking the party into two parts: an afternoon “henna party” with just the girls, followed by adding boys to the mix for Chinese food plus, yes, a movie and some dancing. Add a dash of logistics and the first part ended up happening at Linda’s house (30min from my own) with me hosting the main party and girls-only sleepover.
The henna artist was indeed an artist, as A-‘s arm attests in the pic to the right. That part went well and while Chinese devolved into pasta from Noodles & Company, it all pulled together smoothly and at its peak there were ten girls and five boys jammed on our huge couch playing the Nintendo Wii (dance games = good!) and watching Inception with a running commentary and chatter.
In fact, the best part of them watching Inception? The groans and complaints at the ambiguity of the ending. I loved that part of the Chris Nolan movie, but their reaction seemed a bit more, um, dramatic than mine was when I first saw the movie.
And so the party went really, really well and I’m proud to say that when I popped down sporadically to check on things and grab some food / drink, all was proceeding smoothly without any untoward or crazy behavior. The cake pops that my friend Tracy made were a huge hit, and in terms of their taste in music? Definitely different to my own, with a lot more vulgarity, but our iHome music tower (the color-changing iP76) was constantly pushing out music and was great because different kids could dock their own iPhones and share their favorite songs too.
Good friends, good times and though I did have to go downstairs at 12:30am and ask the girls to turn down Pirates of the Caribbean, it all went really well.
In fact, here’s what I woke up to the next morning:
A good party and great memories for everyone involved. What else can a Dad ask for?
Happy birthday, sweetheart! You’re a great 16yo and I know you’re growing up into a lovely woman too. A credit to good genes, for sure. 🙂