Birthday surprises
April 13, 2018
by Jenni Sebora

I have been writing about my March madness in this column for several years now. The scope of it has remained the same; however, the madness changes its form as my children have gotten older. Actually, our family’s madness starts at the end of February, as our youngest daughter turned 14 at the tail end of the month.

This year, we had some help from my older daughter in the birthday frenzy. She had a surprise party for our youngest, her sister, at our house. She planned it, and prepared and carried it out; the cleaning up was a different story.

It was so sweet, and she worked hard at making it very special for her sister.

With the help of one of her friends, she cleaned up the basement, moved furniture, and hung streamers, lights, and balloons. She picked up a cake, bought and prepared food, and even made birthday goody bags for all of the guests.

She picked up some of the guests who needed rides, and had them hide downstairs until I signaled that I was home with the birthday girl.

It was my husband’s and my job to take the birthday girl out, so she could get all the guests there to prepare for the big surprise; and a surprise it was, including the weather. It was the night of one of the late snowstorms we had.

Our supposed plan was to take our daughter out for dinner, but with the weather, it turned out to be good excuse to turn around and come home.

The surprise party was a true surprise, and so was the fact that most of the guests had to stay the night because of the storm, but all was well, and the party turned out wonderful. A Dairy Queen ice cream cake always turns it up a notch, no matter how old you are.

Next, it was time for our oldest daughter’s birthday, and she turned the magical number 18 – a very special birthday.

This time, the surprise was for her. I hosted a gathering at the local coffee hang-out and invited many of her friends. I had balloons, a corsage, cupcakes, and, of course, coffee drinks. It, too, was a surprise for her, and it was just fun to hang out and visit with her friends.

By the end of these couple of festive weeks, the surprise was on me as it was my birthday, too.

My husband surprised me by making reservations at a fabulous restaurant that I have always wanted to go to. This time, the surprise was relaxing and involved no cleanup on my part. That is the best surprise and gift of all.

During this March madness, our son had a milestone birthday, as well – 21. Since he is in Omaha, there was no surprise dinner, party, or gathering, but we did deposit some money into his bank account, and for a 21-year-old in college, that is always appreciated, and it was.

Yep, another March madness enjoyed, endured, and over. It is always a whirlwind, but one I enjoy; and also enjoy when it is over.

The years go by and birthdays are celebrated. Children grow up into young adults. How did this happen? Where did the time go?

I do know this: Enjoy those special moments with your children; they are sacred.

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