2/06/2007

Fizzled Party Plans

I’ve always enjoyed a good party. Not parties I’m in charge of. In fact, those are usually dismal failures! But the thought of my only daughter’s16th birthday put me in the party mood. I’ve been mulling it over for the past year, what to do, who to invite.

She hasn’t been much help. Now with the day fast approaching, I pushed her for some decisions.

“Have you decided anything about your party?” I asked the other day.

“Mom, I don’t want a party.”

Surely I’d heard her wrong. What 16-year-old—girl or boy—doesn’t jump at the chance when their parents offer to throw them a party? And a sweet 16 party at that! Maybe she just didn’t want a big party. Fine. We could scale down. But even as my mind whirled, she continued.

“You were the one that wanted a party. Not me.”

Yes, I did want a party. Out of my overflow of love for her, I wanted to give her more than a party. I wanted to give her memories. I loved my 16th birthday. I wanted her to be able to look back her 16th birthday with the same fondness I did. But I learn, yet again, that she is not like me in every way. We don’t always enjoy or appreciate the same things and our dreams often take divergent paths.

Of course I won’t force a party on her. But I’m disappointed. She’ll turn 16 on a day near the end of March. We’ll go get her official drivers license, have dinner and cake with the family (immediate and extended), and that will be that.

4 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

it is disappointing, isn't it... to give an expression of love, and have it put aside... sometimes when I experience such moments, I feel I understand just a small bit of what God feels when his creatures walk on without him

Patricia of Pollywog Creek said...

Ah....yes! I can so relate to this! After 3 boys, I was thrilled to have a daughter who I never thought would not be just like me! I'm a "pink" kinda gal. She is not. Femine, yes. Pink, no. Fortunately, for her, she has a strong personality and has been able to express her unique and delightful personality despite my interference. She will also be 16 in March! Blessings!

One More Writer said...

Yes, L.L., yet another example of how we so often hurt the heart of God. Parenting shows us so many of those ways.

Welcome, Patricia! I'm glad to know I'm not alone. My soon-to-be 16-year-old has a strong personality, too. Good for her, hard for me.

Richard Mabry said...

D'Ann,
Enjoy your "family party," because the day will come when you'll wish for private, family time with that sixteen year-old. Children are often frustrating at this age, but by the time they get to be thirty or so they usually recognize that maybe you know what you're talking about. Meanwhile, I'll pray for you and the frustrations I know you're experiencing--been there (times three), done that, got the tee shirt.