Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Fools!

I am a slightly strange person---any of my personal acquaintances will tell you that, but, hey,  I've needed to be.  One of my cherished family traditions is the Sneak Attack Birthday Party, a way of approaching birthdays that I've been using with great success for quite a few years now. It goes like this: never let them see it coming. Have the party on a different day or in a different way, so that the celebration comes as a surprise.

This year was my personal best, as we celebrated Caleb's 15th birthday 1 1/2 months ahead of time. And as long as I was having it early, why not have it on April Fool's Day? Because nothing says April Fool's like a birthday party over a month early.

Caleb had told me that he wanted a San Francisco 49ers party, so I was planning to have a "tailgate party" in the car somewhere. But then it turned out to be Prairie Hurricane Day again, plus we had a church business meeting scheduled for the middle of the afternoon. So I decided to turn the party into a Surprise Tailgate April Fool's Church Business Meeting themed party. Never say I can't roll with the punches.

Devon and I went in early to set up the room. It didn't look too bad considering the high level of procrastination that went into its preparation. We got into Plentywood with only 1 hour to spare and had to take down the decorations from the Sabbath school room, put up the party stuff, and decorate his cake. Then out of the room and close the door so no one could see in. At least that was the theory!

In reality, it seemed like everyone was magnetically attracted to the room, and I had to strive for nonchalant unconcern while guarding the portals with lion-like fierceness. In the end, Caleb and Tiggy were the only ones who were surprised. But he was the most important one anyway.

After the board meeting let out, the kids went across to the park to frolic while I got the last few things in place. The pastor was kind enough to go get John so he could come, and my superior mom came bearing coleslaw and two kinds of potato salad. Plus a birthday border collie.  They got out of sight and we waited for the crew to trickle back from the park.

You'll notice how strategically Devon
"The Attention Seeker" Gibbs has positioned himself... 

I sent Caleb into the room ahead of me, and my mom was stationed inside to catch his first stunned expression. I think he was pretty surprised, and why wouldn't he be? It's April, not May. Next year, I'll have to have his birthday party 6 months early. 18 will be here before you know it, at this rate!

The kids pigged out on the tailgate junk food and soda (or pop, if you're from around here). In fact, I had to force them to eat a piece of cake when it was time. "No park until everyone has a piece of birthday cake." Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. There's no way I was gonna get stuck eating the whole thing because silly kids forgot to pace themselves!

This is me trying to take a picture of Caleb.
 Looks like Devon's not the only attention hog!

All the junior pyros of the family tried to elbow each other out of the way when it came time to light the candles. Next year I'll have to light it in the kitchen. It's just that I was afraid if I tried to move it, some of those poor innocent football players might catch on fire!

Then it was time to open presents. Caleb got a cat scratcher/hide-a-way for his room (OK, that's not strictly for him, but we needed one and a birthday is as good of a reason as any), a few shirts, some great books, and a pair of happenin' cammo overalls. The first picture I took of him with his loot, he looked like he was at a funeral. This picture was when I told him to smile. Nut! He deserves to have it posted. Of course, his festivities are not quite over. Some time in the next week, we'll be headed to Williston to pick up a couple more birthday gifts and, hopefully (for Caleb, anyway) his learner's permit. I think I'm too old for this!

1 comment:

  1. You have a fun family! Love the surprise shot of Caleb.