It was SO tricky to pull off. You'd think that surprising a nearly 5 year old would be a piece of cake, but not KayTar. I emailed her teacher to find out if any of the friends we were inviting came from Spanish-only homes, so I could invite them properly and she replied that one of them, Ix, did come from a Spanish-only home. The next day KayTar says to me, "Did you know Ix's parents speak Spanish?" I said, "Yes, I did. How do you know that?" She replied, "My teacher said it!" I asked, "Really? When?" KayTar replied, "IN YOUR EMAIL!" I almost DIED! The kid was reading my email, where all the Evite RSVPs were and discussions of parties and whatnot. Oh my! We started speaking in code after that, using terms like "library reading session" or "seminar" instead of party.
Then when I sent the secret invitations to school for her friends, I put them in an opaque envelope with her teacher's name on it. When KayTar was putting her backpack away that day, she OPENED the envelope and read her friends' names off of the invitations. She asked her teacher what they were for, who said (God bless her) that they were secret invitations to the school Valentine's party. WHEW! I had just pulled back into the driveway from drop off when I got a call from her teacher, she led with, "If you pull this party off, it will be a MIRACLE!" and then she told me the invitation story.
Finally, the day before the party, my mom called and said, "What do you want me to bring to the party?" And what did we hear in the receiver? KayTar on another phone in the house, "What party?" AGH! Josh quickly collected all of the extra phones in the house and we told her it was for the Cub Scouts Blue and Gold party. We got really lucky that this is a big party time of year!
In the end, she WAS surprised and it was worth every ounce of effort. She was so thrilled to see all of her special people there and it was a priceless moment. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our big five year old, who has come so far, so fast, that it almost seems unbelievable. We are so proud of the child she has become; outgoing, hilarious, intelligent, and beautiful. I can hardly believe that my once slumpy BABY KayTar is now FIVE.
The kids seemed to have a great time, a few of them even sobbed when it was finally time to go, and the adults were able to sit and have conversations while the kids entertained themselves in the kids' rooms. I think overall it was a big success, but regardless of that, we surprised the heck out of KayTar, and that was what really mattered. She told us, "I thought I was just coming to my sweet home like normal, but it WASN'T!" She is still basking in the glow of her party and that makes all of the extra work to keep things secret worthwhile!