Olivia turned eight and we celebrated with a bowling party. She’d been to a few bowling parties this year and had a great time. Maybe that’s because these days, lane management seals the gutters, thus eliminating the primary bowling experience of my youth—the gutter ball. The “no-gutter-ball” strategy was successful enough that Olivia and several of her friends scored spares, a feat they celebrated with whoops, high fives, and lots of sliding on the polished floor into an imaginary home base.
My sister Patrice was there. She brought a dozen cupcakes decorated with Olivia’s favorite animal, the mouse, and gave her a skein of yarn—pink—with a set of knitting needles to indulge my daughter’s latest passion. I know nothing about knitting, but Patrice, luckily, is a willing and patient teacher. Already, Olivia has created five multi-colored scarves using only a spool and her hands. There’s no telling what she will do with real needles.
After the kids bowled for almost an hour, they chowed down on pizza and sang “Happy Birthday.” Then Olivia blew out the candles and we ate cupcakes—chocolate with chocolate icing, the favorite of Olivia and Mateo, both. My son was on his best behavior. Every single one of the children was polite and nice. When their parents came to pick them up, I told them they should be proud. I’m so happy that my daughter belongs to such a delightful group of friends.
It was a small party, but on the way home, Olivia declared it perfect. Year eight is off to a great start.