“The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.” Oscar Wilde
Daphne is turning 16 this week. Sixteen years ago, she arrived on Father’s Day. She has been daddy’s girl ever since.
I don’t mind. I’ve never been jealous of their relationship. I think it’s really sweet. I did a little research on throwing a Sweet Sixteen Party. I laughed as I read some of the suggestions. No, I will not be hiring her a bodyguard or a DJ. We also will not be renting a bouncy castle or a slip and slide. Nobody will arrive in a limousine. There will not be a grand unveiling of her brand new Mercedes because she isn’t getting one. Although, if we had more room in our yard, I might have considered a bouncy castle.
Then again, I remember seeing one fly away with kids in it on the news the other day. So, maybe not. Vegas gets windy. Daphne’s party was going to be a little less extravagant.
Daphne and I drove around yesterday getting everything together for her party. I should say, she drove me around because she drives me around everywhere since receiving her permit. It’s nice having a chauffer especially since she is finally a good driver and I don’t have to hold on to the passenger door in panic. Now, I feel free to answer my phone and to take in the scenery. We picked up pizzas, balloons, ice, soda and some of her friends who didn’t have a ride. At Costco, I asked her what appetizers she would like to serve at her party. I thought maybe some veggies with ranch or mini quiches. She chose a large box filled with small bags of different types of chips. OK, not what I was thinking but it was her party. So, Doritos and cheese puffs would be served. At one point she said, “I don’t even feel like it is my birthday week.”
I said, “That’s because you are getting older.” She is getting older. My baby is not a child anymore.
I think this is about the age where kids stop thinking they know everything. Sixteen is when they do actually start to “grow up” and become more mature. It’s around this age that different cultures celebrate a young lady’s maturity. In Judaism, the Bat Mitzvah happens at 13. Thirteen seems a bit young to me for a child to be considered a mature person. But, what do I know? In Mexico, a quinceanera is celebrated at 15. I think 16 is about right, at least for Daphne. She has become very mature. She listens to what adults say. She cares about her grades. She is trying to find a job so she can save up for a car. She helps me without being asked. I am very pleased with the wonderful little (well, taller than I am) lady she has become.
Before the party started, we were both hungry. I wanted to make us something to snack on. I wasn’t interested in the large variety of chips we had. I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be eaten in the refrigerator. Daphne always says that the one meat she misses since she became a vegetarian is the barbecue ribs. Whenever she sees them on a menu or smells them in a restaurant, she longs to eat some. So, I thought I would make barbeque cauliflower to see if she would like that. I read a few recipes in the past about grilling cauliflower and thought barbeque sauce might be tasty on them. Maybe it is just the sauce she misses. I asked her what she thought and she was excited about the idea.
I cooked them and we ate together. She said they were good but not barbeque ribs good. I agreed. Shortly after this snack, people arrived to celebrate Daphne’s birthday. Soon, I was serving pizza, getting towels for the kids in the pool, and watched Claud hustle at the pool table. I spent a lot of time just talking to some of the kids. I can’t believe how grown up they all are. It is strange to admit, but Claud and I had a blast at the party getting to know all of these friends of Daphne’s. It seems like Daphne had been keeping her friends away from us for the past few years and now we were welcome in again. This was another sign of maturity. She hasn’t had a party for years.
Yes, Oscar Wilde was right, we “middle-agers” were suspicious a few times and checked on different groups of kids thinking they were up to no good. Turns out, we were always wrong. These kids were just being good and having a good time. Maybe it’s time for us to believe everything is good. Nah, we aren’t that old yet.