Doesn’t happen every day. But one day your children become adults. One of mine just did.
18 years is a bit of a stint really, to be a parent. I think it’s been my aim to get my children to this point, and then say “My work here is done”. I’ve been trying to help and encourage them to grow into independent adults that can look after themselves, make a contribution to the world they live in and be happy people.
I think I’ve succeeded. I’m sure there is still some way to go on some things but mostly done. Of course, how Caitlin sees it may be a different matter, but then, that’s her matter.
We went for a Mexican feed on the night of her 18th, that’d be a family event, Michael, Tomas, Caitlin and myself. Oh, and her mother, Jennie. I really just wrote it like that because I know it will wrangle Jennie. I could not have done this alone, Jennie has been an important part of Caitlin’s life and has provided those things that I either don’t know how to do or didn’t want to do. Jennie and Caitlin have a wonderful relationship which warms the cockles of my heart.
The restaurant wasn’t great. Service was slow, food was sloppy, I found it generally unappealing. Company was good though.
The next night was the big party. Caitlin had decided on a theme of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. We’d spent months gathering green things for the event. I took the day off work and we started decorating the house. We had even created a yellow brick road for the porch area, a piece of plastic tablecloth, about three metres long, we had spent some hours creating bricks on it using masking tape and several cans of yellow spray paint, and I must say it did come up very well. We covered the wall just inside the front door with some green cellophane and Caitlin stuck some of her childhood photos all over it, then inside on our big old toy box she put some of those important objects that parents tend to keep, kinder photo albums, her first work of art, certificates and so on. On the opposite wall was a ‘mural’ with a few images from the Wizard of Oz film, and then on the only remaining space we cut out love hearts from green paper, and as the night progressed asked people to write a message to Caitlin on a heart. I’m going to put them into a book for her.
With the help of my sister Angela, we put up lots of green tinsel and decorations, balloons – even some helium filled ones and streamers. Half way through the set up my brother David arrived. He was down from Queensland and it must be ten years since I’d seen him at my house! That was a treat. He stayed and helped set up and then later made himself useful by taking charge of the BBQ! The house was done. Next job, us. Off to the costume shop. Caitlin was Dorthy, of course, Tomas was the tin man and I came as the Wizard. Costumes on and back home to wait for the guests to arrive.
A variety of people in costumes started rolling in the door. There were witches and the strawman, a rainbow, a few Dorothys and even the Emerald City itself. All truly fabulous!
There were speeches and food. Music and laughter. All in all a really good night. Again I reveled in setting up the house for a party, going to a bit of trouble to make it look just right. I think we have had just about every birthday at home and since primary school have had a theme. It’s fun. A bit of work, but really good fun.
One down one to go.