The summer of 1992 brought a new job for my dad - which meant a move for my family. We had been living in Moab - surrounded by family - and I had made several good friends. The move was not a welcome addition to my preadolescent life.
To make matters worse, we moved to Richfield the week of my 11th birthday. Not only did I have to move to this crazy new place, but it wasn't even my year to have a 'friend' party - we only got to do that every other year. I'd have to sit alone on my birthday and just miss my friends and family in Moab.
Then my parents performed a great act of charity. (I don't know whose idea it was so I'll give credit to both my mom and dad) They threw me a surprise birthday party! My mom invited the neighborhood girls - none of whom I knew - and we had a party. I don't even remember what we did, but I'm sure we played games and ate cake and ice cream and other festive things.
While I appreciated the act then - for then I had a few girls with whom to play - it is only now that I can look back and see it for what it really was.
My parents recognized that I was sad. I was missing my friends, my grandparents, and other extended family. I also remember being really nervous about starting school there and time and time again they reassured me. They recognized my shyness and I'm sure the apprehension I expressed about meeting new people.
And in the midst of unpacking, reorganizing a new home, getting my dad settled in his new job, and everything else that a move does to a family... my angel parents rounded up the neighborhood girls to give their little girl a birthday party.
I think about that birthday now with the deepest love and appreciation for my parents. So, Lady & Mister- in case I haven't told you - thank you for that birthday! Thanks for recognizing my fears, anticipation, and needs. Thanks for taking the time out of your very busy life to provide me with a little bit of calm - in the shape of some new friends. Your love truly is the best gift ever.