Here’s how the living room looked before.
Before it rained 8.14 inches on Friday and Saturday.
Before the sweet sixteen outdoor movie party that almost wasn’t.
Before we scrapped the outdoor part of the party and came up with plan B and my brother saved the day.
Before we pushed all the furniture to the sides of the room and cleared the floor and set up a GIANT movie screen with a projector in this room.
Before we had over 50 guests with popcorn and candy and chips and fruit and vegetables and sweet tea.
The calm before the storm.
It looks like this.
To be fair, when I took this picture we had already vacuumed up the popcorn and peeled off crunched up water bottles from the inside of the couch and wiped up smeared strawberry tops from the wood floor and mopped up spilled sweet tea.
I would have taken that picture.
I should have taken that picture.
But I forgot.
I was too busy singing Happy Birthday.
It was a party for the ages.
One I hope they never forget.
One I hope they will tell their children and their children’s children.
The story about the deluge and the rain that wouldn’t stop and the outdoor movie party that wasn’t meant to be and the friends that came to move the decorations and put up the lights and tape up the streamers and tie on the balloons…
…and the uncle that saved the day.
It’s an amazing thing watching your children turn 16.
If I squint.
If I close my eyes for a minute.
If I forget to blink.
In my mind they still look like this.
They are growing up so fast, these beautiful, wonderful daughters of mine.
With their sixteen-year-old selves and their makeup and their hair care and their cheering and their dancing and their general teenagery ways.
But just when I think they are all grown up.
Just when I think they are getting so old.
Just when I think they are all about acting cool and less about acting fun.
They surprise me.
Yesterday, I heard whispering from the office when we were all cleaning up the afternoon after the party. I rounded the corner to find the twins taping up the leftover wrapping paper background from the party photo booth over the office door.
“What?” I said. “What in the world are you doing?”
“Why are you taping wrapping paper to the door?”
They turned to me with wide-eyes and startled giggling glances that made me laugh out loud.
“Umm….see mom. You know on Christmas morning when the uncles tape up the wrapping paper over the door so all the kids can run through to get to the presents? We never get to go to the front because we are older. All the littles get to run through and we miss out.”
They looked at each other one more time and finished with…
“We wanted our chance to run through the paper.”
Run, my giggly, blue-eyed, blonde-haired girls.
There’s an exciting and amazing and incredible world waiting for you.
There’s a race you were meant to run.
There are places you were meant to go and mountains you were meant to climb and challenges you were meant to overcome and obstacles you were meant to conquer.
Just remember—when life hands you wrapping paper.
It’s time to run.
PS It’s good to have a sister to run next to.