For the first time ever this year, G did not want a birthday party. Her birthdays have gotten smaller over the last couple of years, from big kid-style parties to outings and sleepovers with a few select friends, but not wanting a party at all at made me suspicious. I asked all sorts of carefully calculated questions, trying to determine if there was some deep motivation for this (trouble with friends was my first thought, but no), and at last I shrugged and accepted her explanation that she wanted an "educational trip" rather than a party.
We kicked around a couple of ideas, and the "educational trip" she chose was to spend the night on the RMS Queen Mary, widely regarded as the most haunted structure in America. P and I did the regular tour of the ship years ago, just after the Titanic movie came out, and I didn't see any ghosts then, although some of the service areas and the engine room felt creepy as hell. It will be interesting to see if anything turns up* during our stay tomorrow night. G, for her part, is planning to bring her video camera and capture ghosts on film -- she wants to take the official Haunted Tour, even though you're supposed to be over 12 to do it, but I suspect she'll change her mind once the sun goes down.
Her actual birthday is on the 26th (we're doing the ship thing this weekend because it's almost 50 percent cheaper for some reason), so we'll celebrate then with presents and dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. She mentioned wanting to take cupcakes to school, too, so I'll have to e-mail her teacher and make sure it's okay. I just can't believe she's going to be 11. It sounds so much older than 10 somehow!
*P asked me several times if I believed in ghosts, the last time not long before he died, and I always said I didn't have enough evidence to believe or not believe. Sometimes I wonder if he's spent the last four years trying to prove it to me and is getting annoyed with my stubbornness.