Lilian: I think JoJo will probably send home Chad instead of Alex.
Me: Well, isn't Chad just the worst? Doesn't everyone hate him because he keeps threatening to beat everyone up?
Lilian: Well, yes. But Mom, just hear me out....I actually think Chad and JoJo look really good together. You know, the strong man taking care of the girl. (On the episode Chad had been helping JoJo as they were hiking.) I think maybe he's just mean around the other guys and that he could be really nice to JoJo.
Umm....okay. Maybe I shouldn't let her watch The Bachelorette anymore.
So, back to the story. She was insistent on having a slumber party. The thing is, we don't usually have sleepovers. And even if we made an exception, many of the girlfriends she wanted to invite have the same sort of no sleepover family rule. I told her between all the many varied things we had going on that week, I wouldn't be able to have a party on her actual birthday anyhow. Plus, I wasn't overly worried because I knew we were having a surprise to top all birthday surprises....
I went to school with her in the morning and did a little VIP sort of presentation in honor of her birthday. Then left the kids to their yearbook signings and ran home to decorate Lilian's room. I'm not sure I will ever again be able to listen to the "Hamilton" soundtrack without associating it with blowing up balloons, but so be it. She came home from school doubly happy. Birthday happy and last day of school happy. She watched The Bachelorette (sigh) while I made the cake and did other such birthday prep. Cousins Megan, Emily and Nathan came over for birthday dinner consisting of the requested salmon, potatoes and veggies. Also requested, a treasure hunt with clues leading to her birthday presents. Julianne and the cousins had come up with riddles leading to various hiding places throughout the house. Her final clue led her to the back deck. And waiting for her there was...
She was nothing short of stunned. A little mini goldendoodle puppy wagging his tail in excitement. We told Lilian that though this little guy was a family dog, he was adopted mostly with her her in mind...a companion and snuggle buddy as all her older siblings are moving out of the house (mission and college) or continuously gone (gymnastics). We discussed names while the puppy scampered around on the grass and Lilian opened the rest of her birthday gifts. You know a puppy is a big deal when it trumps the awesomeness of getting Pentatonix concert tickets. (See you guys, she's a teenager at heart. What 9-year old wants tickets to see Pentatonix and is willing to wait till October when they come in concert? Granted, she was also pretty excited to get a nerf bow and arrow.)
A birthday PUPPY!
Up next: The story of how I convince Bryan to agree to said puppy....