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.