This month Molly turned 16 years old, and with this monumental birthday she asked if she could have a sweet 16 party. She decided that she wanted a laid back/ “hang out” sort of night with all her high school-aged friends from co-op and church. She told me that what she really wanted was just to have everyone over for a bonfire and night games.
The planning for her requested party was easy, for which I am eternally grateful since it came on the heels of a very hard week. Her birthday party was scheduled for Saturday night but the days leading up to that birthday were filled with PSSA testing, therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, lessons, a Relief Society un-birthday party, babysitting our three little friends that lost their grandmother this week, and helping plan a memorial service. It was a long, hard week, but through the struggle I felt myself lifted, sustained, and strengthened by a power beyond my own. I am grateful for the strengthening power that came from the prayers of many and a loving Heavenly Father…
Because the fact I was still upright and functioning when Saturday arrived was nothing short of a miracle!
Even on Saturday (in the hours before the party) we were still running in a hundred directions as we cared for three extra kids, had a soccer game to attend, and a bio sibling visit for Ozzie in Cranberry with his little sister. In between running hither and yon, our time was spent getting the house and yard ready for the party. I was VERY grateful we scheduled Molly’s party for 7:00- 10:00 pm and not earlier in the day!
At 6:30 the first friends began to arrive and through God’s good grace we were ready for their arrival. We pulled it off. I felt such joy that we were able to give Miss Molly, who does so much to love and serve others, this special evening in which we could celebrate her.
The party began around the bonfire where the kids roasted hot dogs to enjoy with their chips, fruits and veggies.
For dessert Molly opted to not have a traditional birthday cake, but rather a S’mores bar instead. She picked a creative mix of cookies and chocolate bars to experiment with in addition to the traditional graham crackers and Hershey bars that were available.
She had such a great mix of kids there and I was pleased to see how well the kids from church and co-op intermingled. I know Molly was concerned that with the mixing of church friends and co-op friends that someone might feel left out, but everyone seemed to have fun.
When the sun began to set Molly handed out glow stick bracelets and necklaces for the glow in the dark night games she had centered her party planning around.
We even managed to find this cute $5.00 t-shirt to go with her party’s theme.
The remainder of the evening was spend playing night games, like capture the flag, in the darkness of the front yard. As I sat by the fire with Toby, watching the streaks of neon pink, yellow and green race through the yard, accompanied by the sound of shouts and laughter, I couldn’t help but feel an incredible measure of gratitude and happiness.
The night concluded with Molly opening gifts around the fire before everyone’s rides arrived. It was touching to see the level of care that went into the gifts for Molly. They were all so thoughtful and personal.
One of her guy friends even baked her a loaf of homemade bread!
Molly’s 16th birthday party was a “glowing” success.
…And now I think we will go to bed and sleep for the next 16 years…
What a week!