Mother's Day, Emily Turns 15

Yesterday marked both the completion of Emily’s 15th year and Mother’s Day, one of those Hallmark-manufactured holidays where, unless you’re a Mother, the best you can hope to do is break even.

We started Mother’s Day with a parade of presents — coffee, chocolate, a piece of wood with nails in the shape of a smiley face, pez dispensers, candles, a set of Mexican Train Dominos — and a rather scattered breakfast in bed, featuring a quesadilla, toast, coffee, and a grapefruit. [Kathy->] was pleased both with the breakfast and gifts, and the celebration seemed to fit nicely with our family’s slightly skewed way of celebrating holidays.

Once the feting of the mothers was settling down, we moved on to give Emily her birthday presents, which included some stuffed animals from Maggie and clothes that she’d had a hand in selecting several weeks before. The big surprise, however, was a custom-make electric guitar. With some help from Grant (the proprietor of our friendly neighborhood music store, good friend and bandmate), I had ordered a Saga LC-10 guitar kit a while back. I then did a good deal of reading and consulting with my friends who, unlike me, actually know something about finishing wood and settled on using a Mirage Color Shift Paint Kit to finish it out. Here’s a bit of video of the color shift effect shortly after I finished painting the guitar body:

I had actually intended to do a bit more with the finish — putting Emily’s name on it, adding a Jolly Roger — but it’s remarkable difficult to build a guitar in the same house as a 14-year old without her knowing about it. Here’s a snap of her and her new guitar (tentatively named “Oliver”) moments after delivery:

After church, Emily’s friends began gathering for her birthday party, for which she had decided she wanted to do paintball. We had both cars packed to capacity as we drove out to Tactical Paintball for an afternoon of shooting each other. Kathy, of course, was the star, and managed to perforate 3 of the staff members in the span of one game. Liam had the dubious honor of receiving the nastiest welt where he got plugged in the back from relatively short range. Here’s the assembled birthday team, ready to do their worst:

So, altogether a great day, aside from the fact that we’ve had to reschedule celebrating Mother’s Day with my mother (who, judging by the fact that I couldn’t reach her by phone all day, was either celebrating happily with other segments of the family or drowning her sorrows in pizza and root beer in a disconsolate corner somewhere).

UPDATE: Seth has rightly pointed out that Mother’s Day does not have its genesis in Hallmark and its sentiment-milking ilk, but in a real person. As usual, wikipedia has all the details. Thanks, Seth!