My baby—my baby!—turned sixteen last Sunday.
I can't believe it. I'm only thirty, after all. . . okay, that's stretching it, since my oldest will be twenty-six in February. We won't even discuss the gray-hair-inducing topics that this particular birthday raises of dating. . .driving. . . .
This year Dad decided he would be in charge of the family birthday party. (The tradition at the Tuft House is a Sunday family home evening with games and silliness and a special dinner chosen by the birthday VIP. And I might mention—cooked by Dad. But then he's a foodie. Mom (a.k.a. Yours Truly) doesn't cook. Mom eats and does dishes.
Dad (a graphic designer) decided (since he was in charge) that he would add a couple of traditional birthday party games to our usual family fare. Traditional—but with a twist.
I entered the room to find my children (if you can still call them children at ages 25, 23, 20, and—of course—16) giggling diabolically. (Yes, even though it was Sunday, the giggles were definitely of a diabolical nature). They were assigning each other faces to draw on balloons. (Warning: if you try this at home, do not use the point end of the Sharpie, as it will pop the balloons. If you think it's great fun to pop the balloons, go for it, but make sure the cat is emotionally prepared for the resulting noise.)
After some very scary art (as demonstrated by Elephant, Dragon, and Evil Alien, shown above), Dad handed each of us a slip of paper and a pencil. He told us we had two minutes to write either the first or last sentence of a story about a donkey.
Well, Madam Writer (a.k.a. Yours Truly) rubbed her hands together with glee and set out to write a masterful play on words. . .
. . .only to be upstaged by her kids. It also turned out to be an interesting psychological study, as each sentence pretty clearly summed up its writer. After laughing at each other's sentences, we were spun and with our eyes shut (using the honor system and not a blindfold) pinned our tales on the donkey (as rendered by the aforementioned graphic designer). Evidence shown below:
R (very quiet by nature): "Deep in the Hundred Acre Woods lived a donkey whose tail just didn't fit."
Mom (already described above): "His tail eventually grew back and, while you may think that is the end—or at least the end of his end—it is really just the beginning of the tale of a tail of a donkey."
H (birthday girl): "And he rode triumphantly through the hills of Uruguay, spending his prize money."
S (lone male with sisters): "And the donkey was escorted off the premises for disorderly conduct, never to return again."
L (reflecting on her dating history?): "I hadn't wanted to believe it, I'd tried not to believe it, but there was no denying it: he really was just an ass."
Happy birthday kiddo! You've given me sixteen years of joy. Thanks for choosing me to be your mom.