Kids grow up so fast these days; here's the story of one teen who wanted to hold on to her childhood just a little longer.
My daughter, Abby, is known for her amazing party planning skills. But even with her strong reputation, her friends were more than a little wary when they arrived to find that Abby had transformed the dining room into a magical Abby Cadabby playroom, complete with Sesame Street table cloth and paper products everywhere. A mix CD of Sesame Street tunes was playing and Abby was dressed to the nines in a beautiful plastic crown and fairy wings with a pile of sparkly beads around her neck.
Her unsuspecting guests did not know what to think!
It wasn't long though before Abby's friends were absorbed in T-shirt designing at the dining room table. Puffy paints easily coax the inner child out from under any cool exterior. While the shirts were drying, Abby handed out instructions for their next activity: A treasure hunt. Not just any treasure hunt, though -- the girls were being sent on a digital photo safari. Since teenage girls rarely go anywhere without their cameras, Abby did not need to add any instructions to her invitations. Her friends were ready to play.
The photo safari couldn't begin until all the guests suited up in their best Abby Cadabby gear. Each guest received a crown, a pair of fairy wings, a pile of sparkly beads and a magic wand. The party goers were split into two teams and set loose on our suburban neighborhood. At first they were nervous about going out in public dressed like little girls playing dress-up, but quickly got into the fun.
A photo safari consists of capturing a digital shot of each item on a list. For Abby's party, the list involved taking photos of the teams doing something unusual. They had to make a human pyramid, kiss a stop sign, hug trees and sing a song -- loudly, in a public place (that last assignment called for the girls to shoot a video, which is a standard feature on most digital cameras). The list also required the girls to interact with our neighbors, asking to pet a dog, for example, or giving away one of the sparkly necklaces. The girls competed both to see who could finish first and who could be the most creative with their photos. Once the girls returned to our house, they spent the next hour laughing as they looked at each others photos and made comments.
The party didn't end there though; the girls, still decked out in their fabulous fairy attire, descended on the taco bar. The photo safari and all that laughter worked up their appetites! The tacos were followed by an Abby Cadabby cake and lots of ice cream. Abby opened her presents, the girls danced, colored with crayons and then piled their blankets together in the family room and had a big old fashioned sleep over to end the festivities.
Although everyone told Abby that this was the best party they had attended, it wasn't until she was invited to one "kid party" after another that it sunk in how much they loved acting like little girls again. She attended a Candy Land party, a tea party and several traditional sleepovers without anything fancy to entertain or attempt to impress. Just simple fun with friends.
Sylvie Branch contributed this essay to Holidash via Seed. For more information on how you can become a Holidash contributor, visit Seed.com.