A Mother of the Year-worthy Gift

I’ve been feeling lukewarm about birthday parties for my kids this year. I’ll only occasionally one to throw over-the-top fetes–sometimes simple is best so with my daughter turning 11, I hinted maybe it was time to forgo the big bash. She was horrified. It turns out you need to give a kid at least a year’s advanced notice because they spend the entire 364 days plotting it.

I finally relented with a casual spa / PJ/  ebelskiver party and she invited 10 of her closest friends.  If you haven’t been around tweens, there is a lot of giggling and silliness. The facials hadn’t even started yet and already, her friend (on the left) was covered in whipped cream.

The Spa

We crafted our own natural facial recipes and the girls had a blast giving each other face and shoulder massages before our summer pedicures. Related: I threatened Hadley’s little brother and friend that if they didn’t stop bugging the girls, they’d have to give them all foot massages. Not coincidentally we didn’t see them for the rest of the party.

With the boys out of the picture, we relaxed and focused on breathing techniques as Enya crooned in the background. Though I’ve known most of these girls since they were babies, I could not identify them in a line-up.

Nor would I want to.

My daughter somehow worked it to have two friends massaging her at the same time.

I guess that’s how you roll when you’re the birthday girl.

The Explosive Fail

We made a sub-par attempt at a Diet Coke  explosion in the middle of the road (who knew you had to dump all the Mentos in ASAP?)

I’m sure our neighbors thought was a fantastic way to wake up on the first official day of summer.

And some trampoline time.

It looks like a seance but it was some game about their future boyfriends. Heaven help us all.

The Best Birthday Surprise

A huge package had arrived the day before on our doorstep with a cryptic note:

Dear Hadley,

Don’t open until your party.

Love, J.B.

J.B.? Who was J.B.? For 24 hours, Hadley agonized over its contents, huddling with her friends once they arrived at the party. Could it be a secret admirer? An amazing gift that would be the envy of them all?

None of the above. It was a special “gift” I found at ARC Thrift Store and decided to have fun with it. I wrapped it in a beautiful bag, found six boxes in successive sizes and wrapped each in duct tape, to produce one huge present.

She saved it for the very last and her friends were bursting with excitement. “I’m sure it’s gotta be a cell phone,” her friend Kasey proposed. Rest assured, I work in social media and my kids will be the last of their friends to get one.

Suspense grew and finally, she had the final box and the big reveal of just what she’d always wanted: (Drumroll, please)

A Justin Bieber T-shirt. 

The room erupted as hilarious Hadley raced around the corner and dumped it in the toilet.

Being the nice mom that I am, I later rescued the rock star, laundered him up squeaky clean and surprised her yet with “J.B.” a.k.a. Justin Bieber on her pillow that night.

Me thinks he will be the gift that keeps on giving (and reappearing) for years to come.

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