I explained why we felt a milestone party to mark entry into adulthood, long before high school graduation, was a crucial part of our family culture in a previous post. When my second child turned 14 we were shut down in the COVID pandemic craziness. So instead we headed out, just the two of us, on our Passport 2 Identity mother-daughter weekend. We postponed the big party (but not the privileges she earned) until her 15th birthday.
So this past May we were able to finally party like it’s 2021 to mark the occasion. My daughter chose a steampunk Victorian theme. I borrowed all the fancy tea sets in my family and together with my oldest daughter’s collection of weird antiques she is using for her period film on Eugenie Clark, including a scuba helmet she created from EVA foam, we pulled off a fun fantasy theme pretty well.
We once again cleared the living room and decorated folding tables. Mismatched china, fancy tablecloths, and a tea tasting table were functional and decorative. We added flowers and lace to old typewriters, tools, and some tiny scatter pieces that I ordered from Amazon that looked like old skeleton keys and watch gears. Paper fans hung from the ceiling decorated the area over the cake. My custom tea blend in flowery paper envelopes were the party favors at each place setting.
I explained the purpose of the party to our guests at the beginning. Please see my first post on coming of age traditions for the full explanation. Both mothers and daughters were invited where the moms were well known to my daughter. Lots of friends were invited as well.
My daughter recited Proverbs 31 for her guests. Then I read the list of tasks my daughter was required to complete to earn the party and the adult privileges that went with it. Keep in mind the each of my children has a customized list of tasks, as unique as they are, and designed to bolster them in areas of weakness.
My Sunshine Doll (as I refer to her on this blog) dressed in a new dress, hair and nails all done up, was given short affirmations from her father and I, and an amazing charge from her older sister. She selected four women she respects to give her a charge upon entering adulthood. They were each beautiful, affirming, and challenging short speeches. I was so glad that she chose a dear friend of mine that leads an exemplary single life to speak to her. I want my girls to know that their identity is complete in Christ, not when or if they find a man.
We had homeade pot pies made by dad for dinner. Then we played a fun game called “Worst advice ever”. Everyone had to write down the worst advice they ever received. We chose two winners and gave them lovely stamped silver spoons by Silver & Birch (on Etsy).
Finally we enjoyed the crazy looking cake I had created. I painted PVC pipes to look like copper, set it up against the two layer cake and dripped blue candy melts all around, to look like water was gushing from the pipe. I had cut cogs and gears out of sugar paper and fondant and stuck them all over the cake. The “water” dripped all over them, too. Though it didn’t look quite how I had planned, it was a cool effect.
In a culture where the winds of what is fashionable to believe change with alarming speed, I cannot overstate the importance of having a community of women that your developing daughter can trust to lean on for stability, advice, and support. And choose carefully who that is, mama! Just because you really like and get along with a very nice person does not mean that she shares your values and has the courage to stand in the face of cultural pressure and say to your daughter, “No, sweetheart. Those are changing emotions, THIS is unchanging truth.”
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