Early Saturday, I woke Tyler, bribing him out of bed. I have bribed him before, but today’s bribe was sweeter than most. Today’s bribe was a visit with one of his BFFs… Spencer Kate. Spencer had turned 6 on September 12th, but Saturday, she was going to celebrate. And Tyler was not about to miss one second of it. It was quite possibly the easiest it had ever been to get Tyler out of bed, dressed, and out the door. Nintendo DS in hand, a backpack full of “keep busy” items for the ride over his shoulder, excitement in his heart, and the kid was ready to face the world! Well, not necessarily the world, but definitely ready to face the three-hour trek to the suburbs of Raleigh where Spencer’s “camping” party would take place. Spencer had requested a camping party, and her mother, one of my BFFs, had obliged. Now, all of you parents out there know exactly what it’s like to do whatever you can to make your child’s dream come true when they ask for some super-specific, not-so-realistic theme birthday party. And Katie did just that. Although, I have to admit that when Tyler requested a Pop-Tart party last year, I wasn’t so quick to oblige. Instead, I did the next best thing. I used my power of persuasion and talked him out of it.
But I digress. Back to the story.
About 20 minutes away from the party site, I called Katie to inform her of my whereabouts. In the background, Spencer began chanting (if you remember from a much earlier post…I adore this), “Aunt Michelle and Tyler are here! Aunt Michelle and Tyler are here!” Katie couldn’t see me through the phone, but I was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t wait to lay my eyes on that girl and her twin brothers, Carter and Davis. I immediately informed Tyler of Spencer’s excitement, and he, looking at me with a sheepish smile, asked one question. “Is she excited-er about seeing you or seeing me?” I assured him that she was most certainly more excited (teaching moment, people!) about seeing him, causing that half-way smile to turn into a full blown, show-all-my-teeth, kind of smile. See, Tyler loves him some Spencer Kate!
We arrived at their home, and there were several hours to spare before the party would begin. Decorating and preparation began immediately, and everything was picture perfect (pun totally intended) by the time the other guests arrived. At 6:00pm, the house filled with 8 little, engergized, people. In otherwords, madness (and lots and lots of fun) ensued. Hot dogs were grilled, games were played, presents were opened, S’mores were roasted on a fire-pit outside, and the abundance of giggles and squeals could, I am sure, be heard all the way down the street as these precious children ran about. For two hours, Spencer’s birthday was celebrated by her friends and her family. Not long after 8:00pm, the house was again quiet, except for Tyler and Spencer who were still running around, only inside the house this time, laughing and making memories that they will only call their own. At one point, late in the evening, Tyler and Spencer crawled into my lap. Yes, at this point, I had collapsed in a chair. And the following is the conversation that was had:
Tyler to me: Mommy, let me give you a kiss! You know…it’s Lips v. Lips! (he leans over and kisses me)
Tyler to me: (quietly) I think I should do that to Spencer…
Me to Tyler: I think you should ask Spencer about that first. And do you remember when we all were at Stewart and Alisa’s wedding on the beach and you……
Tyler and Spencer giggling and interrupting together: YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!
Spencer: We went around the corner and kissed!
Tyler: Spencer, can we do that again???
Spencer: (firmly) Well, Number One. You should know…I have been kissed by another boy.
Tyler: (with hurt in his voice) Who have you kissed!?!
Spencer: (sternly) Mason. And we are marrying.
Tyler: (defensively) Well, that’s ok. I’m already married.
Spencer: (taking her turn to act rejected) TO WHO?!?!
Tyler: (matter of factly) Kaleigh. And she is 13.
(Somehow, out of the three of us, I was the only one who found this conversation even mildly amusing!)
With that, Spencer crawled out of my lap, changed the subject, told Tyler to “Come On!” And they went on their merry way as if this conversation never occurred. Now, for those of you who don’t know this Kaleigh of which Tyler speaks, let me tell you. She is six. Not thirteen. SIX. It baffles me to no end that he would somehow think that his having a relationship with a cougar of sorts would in some way put Spencer in her place for kissing and marrying Mason. Oh, the relationship games start early!
While my 24-hour visit was filled with giggles, debates over toys, potty-training, party set-up, and party-clean up, I left feeling revived. No matter what the reason, or length of visit to this place, I am reminded that I am loved JUST. AS. I. AM. That Tyler is loved. And deeply. That the friendship that Tyler and Spencer are building is the same blessing that I have been given through my relationship with Katie (and all my other girls…you know who you are!), and that is not to be taken for granted. That it is an awesome thing that friends, family of friends, and church families are willing to walk with us and help us raise our children …and are willing to set them straight when you run to your car for a minute or are simply looking another way. (Thank you, very much, Liz!) And lastly, I am reminded of what a miracle and true blessing children are…the good, the bad, and the poopy.
So, thank you, sweet Spencer Kate, for inviting us to your super-awesome camping party! I never knew how much fun I could have with a flashlight, a giant sized marshmallow, and some hot dogs on the grill! But mostly, thank you for letting me be your Aunt Michelle, for loving on Tyler, and sharing the first 6 years of your life with me. I cannot wait to share many, many more. Happy Birthday, and Much Love! xoxo
This is how the even began….Spencer’s cooperation for pictures was through. the. roof. (hehe) 🙂
I thought maybe it would be better with a non-mother photographer…. maybe a little!
Katie’s hard work paid off. Who can go wrong with S’mores Cupcakes!?!?
More cupcakes, and ants on a log. I never planned on trying one of these, but my pregnancy hunger got the best of me on Sunday after church. And to my surprise, they were delicious.
Can you tell that Katie is a school teacher as she leads the “campers” in a game???
That’s right! Let’s give the people an honest look at what the evening was ALL about! Doesn’t it make your heart smile? So. much. fun.
This photo of Spencer and Tyler was taken before they determined that they each had other love interests.
Happy 6th Birthday, Spencer Kate! You are a beautiful person inside and out, and Aunt Michelle loves you lots!