Tuesday, July 14, 2015

B is for Birthday Parties

Jennifer talks about a birthday scene

In my first book, A Heart of Little Faith, the hero is in a wheelchair. I needed to find ways to show his strength in non-traditional ways. One of the ways I did it was in his relationship with the heroine’s six-year-old daughter, Claire. From the moment they meet each other, Gideon and Claire are best buddies. She sees beyond the chair to the man on the inside and they develop a close relationship much faster than Lily and Gideon do.

When Lily is overwhelmed by planning a birthday party for Claire and twenty of her classmates, Gideon steps in, offering the gym at the community center where he volunteers as the venue and plans and organizes games and activities for all the kids. Claire is thrilled to show off her new friend—and to be the only one who gets rides in his chair with him—and Lily is grateful for the support he provides her.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Is there a birthday girl in here?” a loud voice asked.
“Gideon!” Claire ran over and stopped short. In front of her was Gideon, completely blocked by multi-colored balloons. On his lap was the cake.
“Whoa there, Clairebear, you don’t want to mess any of this up.” The two of them headed over to Lily, who took the cake and put in on the table.
“Thank you so much,” she said, leaning down to kiss him on the lips.
“You’re welcome. Now, where do you want the balloons?”
“I’ll take them,” Claire volunteered.
“I don’t think so kiddo,” Gideon laughed. “You’ll float up to the ceiling, and then what will we do?”
Laughing, they began tying balloons to the back of each of the chairs, and then gave the rest to Tony and Melanie to distribute.
“When are the kids arriving?” he asked Lily.
She looked at her watch and crossed her fingers. “Any minute now, I hope.”
Gideon came over to her and took her hand. “Relax, you look stressed.”
“I know, I always get stressed before these things.”
“Well don’t. You’ve got us to help you and it’s going to be fine.”
Just then Claire’s friends started arriving. While Lily took the presents, Claire started running around the gym with her friends.
“Claire, calm down,” Lily said, but she ignored her.
Seeing Lily’s look of distress, Gideon stepped in. “Hey everyone, let’s play a game.”
Claire ran over, followed by her friends, and soon Gideon had all of them playing charades. Lily watched thankfully, grateful for his assistance. After charades, Gideon and Tony led the kids in a game of basketball. Then, they went over to the tables and Lily and Melanie helped them make crafts. Once that was done, it was time for cake. As the kids finished eating, Gideon directed them in relay races and then helped them crack the piƱata. By the time the activities ended and the parents arrived, the kids were exhausted, but happy. No one wanted to leave and everyone vied with Claire to sit on Gideon’s lap and go for a ride.
“Sorry, that’s only for the birthday girl,” he said, giving her a hug.


  1. I adored Gideon when I read him. You did a super job showing the man who happens to have have a disability.

  2. I love including kids in my books as they often are able to bring out emotions in our characters that we wouldn't normally see. My biggest problem is when they start to take over and I have to rein in all of their cuteness and get back to the story at hand. :)

    1. Yeah, that's a big problem for me as well, Debra.

  3. A nice kids' party - almost too perfect with no tears or tantrums LOL! Obviously much better organised that my kids' parties when they were little!

  4. Very nice kid’s party! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Well, I just need some ideas for batman themed birthday party for my son. I wonder if the kid’s party venues in DC provide services for custom themed birthdays. If you know about such a venue then please inform me.