We celebrated my daughter's sixteenth birthday this weekend. Her birthday is actually at the beginning of September, but she wanted to have the party now, at the end of summer break, while we had time to plan and execute, and her friends had plenty of free time. Sixteen is kind of a big deal for kids...and for parents too, come to think of it. My little girl is growing up!
Her party provides a good indicator of who she is growing into. She writes, you see, and researches heavily to get the details right. Her research for one particular story left her with a love of 1920s culture. She is also a huge fan of cyberpunk--the literature, the music, the style. She combined the two into the theme for her party, a 2020s-era speakeasy. After banning smoking, fatty foods, and sugary drinks, the government turns its eye on alcohol and prohibition returns with a vengeance in the early 2020s. Underground bars spring up, and pop culture begins emulating the 1920s, complete with electroswing music and bootlegger gangs. So we spent two days turning my back yard into a 21st-century speakeasy. Every one of her friends showed up in period costume, which says a lot about the quality of my daughter and her friends.
It was fun watching a bunch of modern sixteen year olds dressed as flappers and gangsters, dancing to electroswing. And it was fun playing the "bartender," challenging new arrivals for the password (Kevin sent me) and serving drinks like White Mule (Sprite) and Coffin Varnish (Diet Coke). It's even more fun to look back and realize that the party was uniquely my daughter's, a window into her world. Who would build their birthday party around a theme that requires a paragraph of back story? An intelligent, creative young woman, that's who, and one with the character to select intelligent and creative friends.
Who has my daughter become? A science geek, a writer, an honor student, a fangirl, and so much more. She makes it easy to be a proud parent.