Last night, Peanut and I were invited to celebrate the 16th birthday of one of her friends. Her friend's mom is someone I know, and so I was also lucky enough to also get an invite. Now, I know it might sound silly to be happy that I got invited to a Sweet 16 party, but I was. Because it was a great chance for me to spend some time with a couple of ladies I've been getting to know over the past two years. The kids all went off and did their "thing" and the adults (four of us) got to sit and chat and laugh and have a good time.
I was also happy to see E. I haven't gotten to see her since school got out, so it was nice to have a good laugh with her and catch up a little.
Most of all, though, I was so happy to see Peanut among friends. Older kids she had gotten to know by going to summer school. Going off to high school and becoming a Freshman are two very intimidating parts of growing up. Especially since Peanut has spent the past two years making friends with the kids she went to school with, but will now be thrown in to a mixture of kids from five other schools. Six Junior High schools feed in to one high school. That's a lot of new faces.
Despite Peanut being a little unsure about going to summer school, she ended up walking away sad that it was ending and happy about the new friends she'd made. The girl celebrating her birthday, last night, was one of them. They are going to be in show choir next year, together, and Peanut is really excited about the endeavor.
Since 5th grade, Peanut has been a band girl. She played the clarinet, and seemed to really enjoy it. Then, last year, she told me she didn't want to do it anymore. I was sad, because I had been a clarinet playing band girl when I was in high school, and I loved every minute of it. But, she had realized it just wasn't for her anymore. Then Peanut was stuck with facing the task of finding what she'd do instead.
The high school show choir visited our school, last year, to give us a performance. While they sang and danced I thought about how great it would be for Peanut to do something like that. I even started pushing it on her, suggesting she try out. But, she told me something I hadn't really thought about: She couldn't sing. I'd never really heard her sing. Sure, she sung along to songs in the car, but never really by herself. Then one day, she started singing in the car and I really made myself pay attention, and I quickly realized SHE COULD REALLY SING. She had a beautiful voice, but like me, was too afraid to sing in public.
In order to get her to consider trying out for show choir, I had to bring in reinforcements. In the way of E. E's step-mom is the show choir director, so E was the best person to give Peanut advice and encourage her to give it a try. She talked Peanut in to finding a song, practicing, and building up her excitement for the whole thing. Peanut found the PERFECT song for her voice, "All of Me" by John Legend. The first time I heard Peanut sing it, I got goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes. She sounded wonderful. So, Peanut tried out and she made it! I was so happy for her.
And now, Peanut is in show choir along with kids from 9th - 12th grade.
It was so great, last night, seeing her with some new friends...
Don't get me wrong, I love all of the friends she made while in Jr. High, but that close knit of friends had to expand. They all knew they would be in situations where they might not even be in a single class together, so it was inevitable that the small group had to branch out. And, I'm so relieved Peanut has been able to do that before she even steps foot in to her first Freshman class.
Anywho, back to the party...
The kids all spent the evening dancing on the patio or sitting in small clusters and talking. It was so different from what parties were like when I was younger. If I had been thrown a Sweet 16 in a private venue with a group of my closest friends, I doubt very much we'd spent so much time sitting in small groups and talking. We'd have been partying it up on the dance floor. The girls tried, but the guys just weren't feeling it. But that didn't seem to bother anyone... they all seemed to have a great time.
The four adults even gave them privacy by sitting in a small area downstairs, away from the patio. We sat and talked about family, work, the summer. We laughed until it hurt, and it felt so nice to just sit back and relax and have a good time.
The party started dwindling down around 11PM. Kids started to leave, and the birthday girl wasn't ready to call it quits, so she asked her mom if she could have a sleepover. Peanut ended up going home with her for the night, and I drove home alone. I made it home around 12:30.
It was such a fun night, and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it.
Today, I'm going to get in the pool, relax, and figure out when I'm going to pick up Peanut. That's it. Nothing more... oh, except writing for a while.
A relaxing Sunday....Perfect!