In a few days, she will turn 17. In a few weeks, she will start visiting colleges. In a few months, she will be on an educational tour of Europe.
I don’t understand how that is possible when just last week she was leaning in close while I read Harry Potter. And the week before that she graduated preschool and said she wanted to play violin in her daddy’s band when she grew up. And the week before that she was going down the slide at the K, screaming in tears every time fireworks exploded.
Time does not march monotonously, steadily along day by day, like a faithful factory employee thoughtlessly clocking in and out and in and out. Time floats lazily, like a butterfly on the breeze, and then you blink and the butterfly transmogrifies into a peregrine falcon diving for its dinner and then it’s gone.
To celebrate this amazing young woman, at the inspiration of her younger sister and with the help of her friends, we planned a surprise birthday party.
My senior year in high school, my best friends threw me a surprise 50th birthday party. I was gifted a wedgie, already eaten Snickers bars, losing lottery tickets, an 8-inch slug, and a beautifully-iced brick.
Today’s surprise birthday party was not quite as mean-spirited. The goal was simple: Scare the absolute bejeebers out of Kaylea.
It worked brilliantly. Mad face and laughing and all the questions and more laughing.
After cake and even more laughing and presents, the co-conspirators joined me in a game of catch in the school parking lot where they hid their vehicles. The afternoon was beautiful, filled with the bluest of skies and brightest of sunshine, a perfect metaphor for the birthday girl.
Happy birthday, Kaylea Grace.
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