Simple Service: Happy 29.79 Birthday!

Service Project: Celebrate a pretend birthday to cheer up a family member

Prep time: an hour

Cost: minimal

Duration: as long as your family wants to spend together!

A couple weeks ago I called my husband at work and found out that he was having a rough day (he's a social worker and works with a very challenging population). Though there was nothing I could do to directly help the situation, I decided I'd make his favorite food in hopes of cheering him up at least a little when he got home.

Ruby walked into the kitchen. "Mom, what are you making?" she asked.

"Enchiladas," I said.

Her face cringed. "I hate enchiladas, Mom!"

"I know you hate enchiladas, Ruby, but I'm making them tonight anyway. They are Daddy's favorite food and he just told me that he's having a hard day at work. So I decided to make his favorite food tonight to help him be a little happier."

The cringe on her face immediately left as she changed gears 100%. "Mom, we need to have a party for Daddy!"

"A party?" I asked.

"Yes, a party! Let's have a surprise birthday party for Daddy."

I loved seeing her excitement as she immediately went to work planning a surprise "birthday" party for her dad when his birthday was still a few months off. We calculated his age and found out he was 29.79 so decided that's what we were celebrating.

She engaged her little sister and some help from me and went to work making a poster, a cake, decorating a special backyard birthday table, changing into party clothes and getting everything just perfect.

She was smiling from ear to ear as she sang at the top of her lungs, "IT'S MY DAD'S BIRTHDAY! IT'S MY DAD'S BIRTHDAY!" 

This project was special to our family because it was funny, enjoyable and entirely from Ruby's heart. She was a great example to our whole family.