By: Dawn Thompson
When the kids were younger, we celebrated my or my hubby’s birthday with cake, handmade cards and presents. Then, on the weekend we would treat each other out for a fun night of dinner, dancing or whatever else us we could think of for some special “grown up” time. We celebrated the kids’ birthdays the same way. As they got older we realized how important it is to share different age-appropriate activities as we celebrated.
Having 3 teenage girls (all one year or less apart!) we had our work cut out for us. When Brittany turned 16, we rented out The Upstairs room at The Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Ma. We bought her a special dress and invited lots of family & friends to mark this sweetest of birthdays. As an added surprise, I took her to a photographer for her first professional photo to use on the invitations.
This pretty much set the tone for the next little lady, Lauren. She also got a pretty dress, but she wanted a cookout with all her friends who lived over an hour away. We had never hosted a “formal” cookout before but if this one was to be as special as the first, we had to do something more creative than plain, old hamburgers and hotdogs. We thought it would be fun for her to take a limo with all her friends, all the way from her mom’s house to ours. And it was! The limo, full of teens, arrived to our back yard BBQ in formal attire for a day to remember. All the girls got to stay overnight and Dean drove the boys home!
Last (but not the least) of the princesses was our baby girl Kayla who wanted to do something totally different. Well, not “totally.” She still wanted a pretty dress, so we helped her order one online. Then she wanted to celebrate with her sisters and friends at an upscale dance club. This celebration was a little different from the others since her mother was helping plan it and was also attending. We could have planned a totally separate event, but we thought Kayla would get more of what she was hoping for if her mom, dad and I all pitched in together. So that’s what we did. Although we did not attend that party, we knew it was going to be all she hoped for. Plus, she promised to take plenty of pics!!
After 3 years of celebrating sweet 16′s, we had to tone it down a bit. We had a toddler son and didn’t want him to think that scale of a partying was normal!
This year, on October 20th, Dean turned 42!! (WOW he’s old!) I took Dylan shopping to pick out presents for his dad. According to Dylan, everything that I picked up was “wrong.” He knew what his dad would really like- right down to the chocolate truffle cake We made a nice dinner at home and had everything ready for his papa when he got home from work. It was a great evening and we celebrated until MIDNIGHT!
On Saturday we had to improvise with the older kids… literally! Brittany and Lauren were free Saturday night, while Kayla had to work in Boston. In less than 24 hours we all got our act together and bought tickets to the IMPROV Asylum in Boston. We also made dinner plans for The Sweetwater Tavern, which is where Kayla was working that night. Although she could not sit with us, she was still with us and we all had a great time. The service was impeccable and the company was grand. Her boss made us a special toast and it was a night to remember for all of us.
Happy Birthday EVERYONE!