The one in the middle, blowing out the candles is one year smarter.
Pearl's birthday was way back on September 18th, but my computer was in the shop and so I had to wait. She's now 15. I can remember when she was 15 minutes old. She was all wrapped up in a blanket, tucked in her daddy's arms, receiving her name. We had two names picked out and decided to wait until we met her to finalize the name. Lee decided that one name fit her much better than the other. "A Pearl is something small and precious."
Here we are, 15 years later, and she's not so small anymore. In fact, she's taller than me and showing no signs of slowing. She is, however, still precious. She's sweet, caring, smart, funny and pretty. What's not to love? She has her spicy side, but is quick to apologize if she's having a 'teenage drama moment'.
She picks great friends, too. Every kid at her party was polite and thoughtful. The boy to left in the picture is the son of one of my best friends, DD. Pearl and he have been buddies since 2nd grade. He was nice enough to offer to help clean up! One of the things we did was have a small bonfire and make s'mores. Afterwards I found the towels that I'd laid out for the kids, all shook out and folded in the driveway. I assumed that Pearl had done it, 'cause that's something she'd do---nope, it was DD's son that had done it.
I wasn't sure what 13 teenagers would do for 4 hours, so I rented a bounce-house. Pearl was worried that her friends would think it was dorky, but every single one of them got in it. So did James and his buddy, Nate. So, did Tom and his girlfriend, Kay. So did I. I don't know if Lee got in it or not. One thing we all noticed---you don't bounce as high as you used to when you were little.
Mostly, the kids just hung out. Walked the property, spent some time on the swings, talked and ate and bounced. I think everyone had a fine time.
The one thing that I notice more and more as she grows, is that besides loving her, I really like her. She's a great person that I'm proud to know.