Date 29 has some back story to it and a lot of it had to do with my own mother’s planning. Therefore, I asked her if she would be willing to write an introduction to my date 29 blog post. However, you will soon find out where I got the gene of “writing with probably way too much detail” from. I asked her to write a little “intro” and it turned in to a blog post in and of itself.
So here you are, a word…or words from my dear mom.
It is Sunday, March 29th when I am writing this, and my heart is still warm from all of the activities that have taken place the past 24 hours as we celebrated my daughter’s 30th birthday. But before I jump the gun too much I need to go back a little when all the planning for this weekend began. I believe it was somewhere the end of January when I began envisioning what I wanted for her upcoming birthday. She was turning 30 and it was a big milestone; I wanted it to be an extra special celebration. So, mom put on her thinking cap and tried to come up with a good solid plan that would guarantee this.
First of all, my daughter and I are quite opposites. I am an extrovert while she is an introvert. While my theme song for life leans toward “Let’s get the party started!”, hers would be a little more subdued like “Girls just want to have fun”. We both like to have a good time, but a good time for the two of us can be quite different. While I think more in terms as the more the merrier, she considers quality over quantity. Therefore, while others like me would go for the big blow-up party for their 30th birthday, I knew that would not fit for who she is. My husband and I did have the big surprise parties for her in the past while she was growing up, but things are different nowadays. She is more reserved now as an adult and tends to find more joy with the simple things in life, than the extravagant things. I thought a small intimate party would be perfect, so I began thinking of who I could invite to this simple get-together in honor of her upcoming birthday.
Every time someone came to my mind there was a stumbling block that I knew would prevent them from coming to a party for her. For instance, one of her close friend’s was having surgery a few days before her birthday, so she could not come. Another friend of hers is now living overseas where she is on an adventure of a lifetime with her husband; she certainly could not entertain the idea of dropping by. Then there is her friend in Texas, along with her many close friends in our hometown—all of them with husbands and kiddos and living lives so far away from where we live now. Then I got an “aha” moment. You know those moments when something pops in your head and you wonder, “where did that come from?’ Well, that is exactly what I thought when a close single male friend of hers came to my mind. But there was a huge problem that could also prevent him from coming—he lived more than 2700 miles away.
Nathan had moved to California over 5 years ago but somehow he and my daughter have always stayed in touch. I thought it was crazy that Nathan came to my mind, but I have thought of crazier things then that; so I decided to move forward with the thought of seeing if Nathan by some chance could come to help us celebrate our daughter’s special birthday.
I picked up my cell phone one night and decided to call him, even though I was not sure if I still had the right number. Then I heard his voicemail: “Hey this is Nate, leave me a message.” Just hearing his voice made me smile. There is something about this kid that just makes me laugh. I don’t know why, he just does. I then began to leave a message which probably sounded absolutely ridiculous to him. This is what I said: “Hey Nate, this is Mrs. C (a name that he has called me since the first time we met) and I had to call you to ask you a HUGE favor. I want to have a small intimate party for my daughter’s 30th birthday and I cannot help but think of the friendship that you and her hold and how much it would mean to her if you were there. So, I know this is a lot to ask of you, but please Nathan pray about it before you respond to my invitation. Okay, nice to hear your voice and let me know what you are thinking after you have prayed.”
Now let me tell you a little about Nathan. He and my daughter met when she was 16 and he was 17 when they both were involved in our church’s youth group. Even though they were a part of this youth group for a while, it was not until both of them attended an out-of-town event where they first noticed one another. My daughter came home from that event with a report that she had just met a very cute guy. Nathan in hand told his mother that he had just encountered a very HOT girl. Thus, the relationship between a very cute guy and very hot girl began.
I have to be honest with you; I really thought these two were going to end up dating at one point. In fact, I wanted to see that happen. I loved Nathan and loved his parents. Since all of us attended the same church I thought it would be an ideal situation. They began hanging out together more and more and they even went to Nathan’s senior prom as a couple. But their fledging relationship never blossomed beyond friendship. I was saddened about it at the time, but now I understand that my daughter’s heart was not ready for a boyfriend.
Years later, I have to say that I am glad that they never became boyfriend and girlfriend because statistics prove that once you date someone and then you break up, you have a very hard time ending up being friends. Their potential dating could have jeopardized the awesome and amazing friendship that they now hold. God brought them together to be forever friends, and not fleeting foes. It truly is amazing to have watched their friendship grow over the years.
Here is a picture of them shortly after he moved to California.
Nathan has had a few serious relationships over the years, while as we all know now, my daughter has had none. But that did not keep Nathan from confiding in her about his dating experiences. He seemed comfortable sharing his many thoughts, and sometimes he would turn to her for advice. Because of this kind of friendship that they share, Nathan was one of the first people my daughter went to for an opinion about her “30 dates before 30” idea. She wanted to get a male’s perspective. Nathan encouraged her to go for it, and then he added, “I would love to be one of your dates.” I was not aware of this conversation until Nathan and I recently talked. That is when we decided if he could come, he would have to be date #29!
Then, one afternoon I got a text from Nathan and he said he was coming! His plan was to arrive on Friday morning and leave on Sunday afternoon. This timetable would allow them to have a date on Friday, and then we could have her party on Saturday. That way, she and Mr. KJWTS could have the final 30th date on her actual birthday. We also decided to keep Nathan’s potential visit a secret, and let her be surprised by her friend’s generous gesture to fly out for her birthday celebration. It was very exciting how everything was coming together. But wait…there was someone else I had to check in with. That someone else was none other than Mr. KJWTS!
Since Mr. KJWTS has been moving in on my daughter’s heart I knew that he needed to play a key role in how we observed her birthday. I needed to fill him in on everything, especially since there would be another date involved that would not be with him. It was crucial for me to talk to him.
Luckily I had been given his phone number in case of emergency. Her phone went dead one time while they were together, so I mentioned it would be good to have his number as a backup. She obliged, so I added Mr. KJWTS to my contacts that day.
I don’t remember what day it was when I first texted Mr. KJWTS, but I remember feeling a little nervous as I typed out: Hey Mr. KJWTS (I really used his real name), this is my daughter’s (I really used her real name) mom and she gave me your number in case of an emergency. I want to let you know that there is no emergency, but I need to speak to you about her birthday. Can you call me today at your convenience?
Mr. KJWTS then proceeded to call me later that afternoon. Now let me explain something here just so you can understand my heart as a mother of a daughter who has not dated much. This felt really weird to me that I had to check in with a man about plans regarding my daughter. I mean really really weird. Not because I was talking to a guy who was interested in my daughter, but because I had to somehow make sure that he was all right with the plans that I came up with. For after all, I never felt like I had to do this with any guy in the past; for up to this point there was never anyone as close as this fellow has gotten. I knew that her heart was growing fonder of him, so I did not want to do anything that could jeopardize that.
When Mr. KJWTS called me, he sounded so pleasant and sweet. I thanked him for calling me, and then proceeded to lay out the plans that I had. Instantly, he came on board with everything. He then gave me some information that I did not originally have, which was that my daughter would be getting home quite late from work the Friday that Nathan was to arrive. He said, “Let me handle this, and see if I can talk her into taking the entire day off.” Wow, was I impressed! He not only was all right with the whole idea of Nathan being one of her dates, but he wanted to help see it happen. I thought to myself, “This guy is really something!” I knew I liked Mr. KJWTS before this conversation, but hearing how selfless he was added to the way I felt about him. Now, I not only liked the man, but he just gained a whole new respect from me. We were on our way to make sure that she had the best birthday celebration ever.
Then on Friday morning at 2:38 am, the day all of the festivities were to begin, I was suddenly awoken by the sound of a text coming in. I picked up my phone that was lying on my night stand next to me and tried to read the text through my half awakened eyes. Here is what it said: “Hey Mrs. C. this is Nathan! Bad news. I missed my flight. Will keep you posted!”
Unbeknownst to my daughter her date #29 was now hanging in the air!