JMJ *An elaborate mystery dinner scheme or other extravaganza isn’t the only way to make your child feel special on his birthday. A successful birthday is not determined by the amount of guests you invite or how much money you spend on that magician or make-up artist, or expensive gift, but rather how special your child felt that day.
Ring the School 55/180 Days
Melissa’s mystery dinner party was the highlight of our weekend. Yay! It was a big success, although nobody was able to solve the mystery of Melissa’s kidnapping! I am afraid the plot was a little too sophisticated for the age group of the guests, ranging from about 9-12 years of age. There was ongoing confusion about the difference between speculation, accusation, fact, and evidence, as much as I tried to explain.
The party was full of laughter regardless. Once I realized the mystery would never be solved by our dinner group, I shouted “Prizes for everyone!” and all was well again.
I looked pretty ridiculous, as I was “Sherlock Mom”, costumed with a trenchcoat and detective hat. Sabrina’s friends took on fictitious identities to add to the mystery and also served the many suspects in the dining room (Melissa’s friends as well as her sister Sarah). Laughter and fun spelled success in this mysterious case.
So just how did this fabricated mystery party work? Basically, as the girls and I were all eating different courses of the meal, the telephone would ring and the Watson sisters (Sabrina’s friends) would reveal clues to the group via speaker phone. We would then interrogate the newly revealed suspects, playfully shackling them to the chair with toy plastic handcuffs. This process was supposed to eventually lead to finding the culprit who kidnapped Melissa. (Melissa was a character and suspect also, Kate Wetherall, from The Mysterious Benedict Society series)
Of course, an elaborate mystery dinner scheme or other extravaganza isn’t the only way to make your child feel special on his birthday. A successful birthday is not determined by the amount of guests you invite or how much money you spend on that magician or make-up artist, or expensive gift, but rather how special the child felt that day. Here are a few ideas to make your child feel special on his birthday:
- Ask what they would like to do? Perhaps they don’t want a big birthday party, but would like to invite a friend or two to go somewhere special. If they always want the party, but that is too much on your plate every year, do like us and throw one every other year.
- Homemade birthday cake is a big hit at our house. The birthday person gives suggestions, and then a family member puts together the special cake.
- We get kind of crazy around here with birthday traditions. We actually do a coronation, presenting the birthday child with a crown and staff as they sit in their Royal Chair, while “Rocky” victory music is piped in from the internet.
- Watching early recorded childhood videos as a family, brings back lovely memories.
- Go around the table and everyone says something they really like about the birthday child.
- Think of milestones for different birthdays. Some milestones can be silly, others more serious. My children could start chewing gum at the age of 5, have an email at age 12, facebook at age 18, and also get a license at 18. Some milestones can be silly, others more serious. It is fun for kids to have something to look forward to.
Those are some of our traditions. Here are some more which I found on the internet:
- Leave a birthday message on the bathroom mirror.
- Talk about the story of their birth.
- Have a birthday countdown for younger kids.
- Measure height every year on the same door.
What about today? With the house cleaned up after the party, it was time to get back to the business of school, and the high school dossier. A high school dossier is simply a fancy name for a summary of what your child did during their high school years.
Does your child need a dossier? Only USC requested a dossier, and I have to say it was a daunting task. But it did give me a sense of what Sabrina accomplished in high school, and thus gave me a sense of accomplishment as well! If possible, try and find out if your child’s prospective school requires it. If they do, perhaps it is something to work on during your child’s junior year.
Save that dossier document before exiting! And remember exactly the location it was saved on the computer!
Here is my experience:
I had decided to spend a day on each grade. 9th grade took me about 4 hours before I decided to call it a day. Upon turning on the computer the next morning, I tearfully realized something was very wrong. In my fatigue of the night before I goofed and the document was lost in cyberspace forever, never to be found again. I remembered specifically saving it, but apparently I must have saved it to some really remote location that not even my husband could locate.
Not only was the document lost, but also 4 hours of my very precious time. After a lengthy emotional outburst inside my head, in which I decided to give up on this project, I finally resolved to find 4 hours in my schedule to give it another go. I was able to do this, amazingly enough, by delegating some errands to John, doing a fast food run (sad I know), and cancelling an appointment.
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette