Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Very Practical Birthday

Today was a big day at our house. It was THE DAY that Little Bit joined the ranks of the double-digit gang and turned 10 years old! WOO HOO!! And it was declared to be THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.

I’ve long been someone who believes that a person should spend his or her birthday doing whatever it is he or she wants. And these days, for Little Bit, it’s bowling. She spent much of this past school year in a kids’ league on Saturday mornings. She enjoyed it so much that The Hoffer & I decided to give her a ball, bowling shoes and a bag to carry both for her birthday. I am, after all, very in to practicality, and these seemed practically perfect for her (pun intended, btw). Her party was held at the same bowling lanes where she went for league play, and it was a great deal.

Now, since I am all about being practical, when we began the planning process, I also began to see just how very UNpractical this birthday could be. I envisioned more STUFF entering our house as a result of her very generous friends showering her with gifts for her birthday. Honestly, just the mere thought of all that STUFF entering my house was enough to cause great consternation in my stomach…where to put it, how to organize it, how to take care of it…all that STUFF adding up to more things to store and keep track of as we have our house up for sale. SO not practical.

And really, what could she possibly want? She was an only-child for nine years and has pretty much everything she wants. Anything else she might want is getting more and more costly. A bowling ball wasn’t really all that expensive, but I would never consider asking her friends’ parents to foot the bill for one! Most of the things her sweet and generous friends would give are likely very crafty things…which she loves but can only do so much. Gift card? Nice, but some people don’t like to give gift cards. So we’re back to square one…SO not practical.

A few of Little Bit’s friends had asked for no gifts at their birthday parties, but instead requested some kind of donation to their favorite charity. Hmmm…less stuff, doing good for others, learning to look outside herself…you know, this could work! I liked this idea, but I didn’t want to force it on Little Bit. It needed to be her idea and come from her heart. It needed to be something important to her. It needed to be her idea because she doesn’t care nearly as much about having something as she does the getting. It’s almost a challenge for her, I think, to see if she can talk us into getting something for her. After that, she may or may not do anything with whatever she talked us into getting for her, but at least she has it! So I prayed about it, then we talked.

Since she is more about the getting than the having, she really didn’t like the idea at first. After all, what’s a birthday party without presents? And the more we talked about it, the less she liked it. I started to panic a little, but I really felt this was the right thing to do…and NOT just because it was more convenient for me!!! I asked God for His guidance, and He reminded me that it had to be something of importance to Little Bit. He also reminded me of a large group of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that had been rescued from a puppy mill earlier this year. So I suggested to Little Bit that we could collect donations to aid the CKCS Rescue organization to help dogs like our very own WonderDog. CLICK! That was the key, and she was completely on board. We asked Little Bit's buddies to bring donations of leashes, toys and collars. Let me tell you: these girls were GENEROUS! The coordinator for the Texas Region of CKCS Rescue USA went to great lengths to come join us at our party, and she was overwhelmed by the gifts these sweet girls gave. My sweet Birthday Girl decided to donate all of this week's allowance-I'm so proud! The rescue puppies will surely be blessed.

So check out our party pics and see what Little Bit declared to be “the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!”

This is why I don't share my camera with The Hoffer. I end up with silly pictures like this one. Silly boy. :-)

Just a little camera-shy.

Yummy gets to celebrate with us too.

The Birthday Girl and WonderDog.

In anticipation of Coca-Cola Cake.

Make a wish!

Best buddies

Lots of giggles to go around!