Kira had her 15th birthday party over here a few weeks ago. Sure, I'm a little late in writing about it, but I have a rule that you can't talk about a party until you've finished eating all the leftovers. Although I have to admit I'm not feeling too good after our meal last night of flat Coke and two-week-old pizza.
The party was a big success. She had around thirty people here - the boys never materialized, something Rigel and I were secretly relieved about and that the girls didn't seem to mind one bit. They spent the evening as most teenage girls seem to do at parties - alternating between eating, gossiping, eating, dancing, singing, complaining that they ate too much, dancing, gossiping, singing some more and then talking about dessert. By the end of the night when they were all gathered around the firepit roasting marshmallows they were absolutely loopy, hopped up on sugar, carbs and Lady Gaga remixes. Made me wish I was a teenager again. Or at least had the metabolism of one.
I describe this like I witnessed it in detail, but in fact I barely even went outside the entire night – you could sense that the energy would stop whenever an adult would breach the herd, so instead my friend Juliette and I used it as an excuse to stay inside with our cocktails and spy on them from the dining room window, which wasn't obvious or creepy at all. I'd pop my head out occasionally to see if they needed anything, but as you can imagine "Would you kids like some ravioli?" was a definite buzz kill.
I had maybe sort of forgotten all about the cake, so two days before the party I asked Kira what kind she wanted from the grocery store, what color the tasteless frosting should be and if she wanted clowns or a princess on it. Luckily my sister-in-law Suzy saved us from that monstrosity with these amazing cupcakes she whipped up especially for Kira. Triple-chocolate, red velvet and French vanilla and yes they tasted just as fantastic as they looked.
This is one of the few pictures I took, since I was subtly requested not to take photos or video during the party. Who knew that teenagers don't like their parents walking around and recording them while they're hanging with their peeps? Also, take note that it makes things worse if you call them 'peeps'.
(Best Dad Award goes to Rigel, who when he heard that a few of Kira's friends couldn't find anyone to bring them to the party, drove all the way to Hollywood to pick them up and bring them here. Can you imagine your dad driving fifteen miles to pick up your friends and bring them back for a party? I can't, and if he did he probably would have worn his pajamas just to embarrass me.)
There were friends there that night from all stages of Kira's life. Friends she's known since kindergarten, second grade, middle school, and new friends she's made in high school this past year. One thing that struck me was how much I like all of them, and how they represent the types of people she tends to surround herself with - witty, funny, smart and outspoken. At one point one of them came inside and spent a good half-hour hanging with the adults, telling us about her high school classes and talking about her photography. I don't remember ever talking to my friend's parents at high school parties, and if I did it was because I needed something, like a straw for my Tab or a bag to put my retainer in.
There's a line in the movie 'Freaky Friday' that I've kept in my head since I first heard it. (You know it's significant, since that movie's eight years old and as you know I have a hard time recalling anything I heard five minutes ago.) Jamie Lee Curtis is dropping her daughter, played by Lindsay Lohan, off at school and right before she drives away she calls out to her and says, "Make good choices!" I barely remember the rest of the movie, except I think mother and daughter somehow trade places, chaos ensues and then Lindsay gets thrown in jail for drinking and stealing a necklace. Man, sometimes those Disney movies are a real downer.
But that line stuck with me, because I think it kind of sums up what we hope for our kids – that they'll have the insight and strength of character to make informed decisions when we aren't there to help them along. That the choices they make will make us proud, and prove that we're doing a somewhat reasonable job raising them.
That's how I felt that night as she celebrated her birthday, how I was so proud of the person that Kira's grown into and the things in life she's embraced. She really has made good choices, and I saw that reflected in the people she's chosen to keep close to her and trust as friends – and that's a reason to party if there ever was one.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .