Monday, October 7, 2013

Somewhere I Must Have Done Something Right or Frances' 10th Birthday

I have this song from the Sound of Music stuck in my head.  Maria is singing to Captain VonTrapp about her disbelief that something so good (him being in love with her) could have happened to her.  It's stuck there because pretty often as a parent, I feel like I am just scraping by.  I feel adequate; like getting the kids to the end of the day with no disasters is about all I can reasonably expect.  I've set the bar pretty low for myself.

But every once in a while, something happens that makes me feel like Maria.  Something reminds me that somewhere in raising my children, I must have done something right.  Because when I asked Frances what she wanted to do for her birthday, she told me she wanted to do 10 good deeds, just like I had done. (I'll post her list tomorrow).

We talked further and she said she wanted to collect pet items for Cat's Cradle and the SPCA as well as baby blankets for a local women's shelter.  So the invitations went out with a note that in lieu of gifts, she was collecting these donations.

I planned the party for an indoor mini golf range. The price was great and it meant I wouldn't have to clean the living room!  That's a win-win for me, for sure!!  Frances didn't ever give me a very clear idea for her cake, so I made it a surprise and I'm pretty sure she liked it.

The rainbow cake was a four day ordeal, with baking, freezing, cutting and stacking. The end result was crooked, but delicious and quite colorful!  It was harder to cut than I thought it would be, but we powered through and everyone who wanted cake, got some.  Then while we were opening gifts or playing golf (I wasn't looking) the rest of the cake fell over!  Good thing I didn't want any leftovers!!

Frances opened her gifts, which mainly consisted of pet food, animal toys and baby blankets.  She also got some diapers and wipes.  Have you ever seen a 10-year old so happy to get diapers for her birthday!?!

She also got this beautiful quilt from a friend of my mother.  Honestly, when I saw the quilt, I thought Frances was going to want to keep it, but later she told me, "Mommy, the kids at Mercy House are going to love this blanket!" (I cried and gave her a huge hug, of course!)

 The kids had a great time playing mini golf, even if no one really kept score and they didn't follow many rules.  Ken's dad called them "Happy Gilmore of mini golf" which I think was a fairly accurate representation!

 After the kids were done playing golf, I handed out goody bags.  I wanted to take a picture of all the kids together, so I told them to go over and stand by my dad because he was near the wall.  He wasn't paying attention when I directed them towards him, so he was a bit surprised to find himself suddenly surrounded by wild, sugar-high children, but he handled it well.
 Frances ended her party by giving pony rides.  You can't see it in the picture, but she's wearing a neon green dog collar that my brother gave her.  I really did think she was going to want to keep that, and I was getting ready to put my foot down, but she willingly put it in with the rest of the donations.  Phew!!
Happy, happy birthday to my dear, darling daughter. I couldn't be more proud of who you are and who you are becoming!

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