Between chatting with the twins, Jarod, and the others who gathered in the hall, I watched as my daughter roamed the yard, interpreting clues to understand puzzles and find her gifts. She was up to four now, but my parents were parked already.
I created a telepathy spell based off the design my wife made during our travels and told Dani to join us. She sighed dramatically, but I saw her run toward us on the screen.
“What was that?” inquired Mai.
“Just a little spell I taught him on our honeymoon. He was letting Dani know his parents are here.” explained Alma. “You’d be amazed how much he’s taught me as well.”
Ai flatly asked “What?” as she stared at Alma incredulously.
“Mila, mind showing me of what Jarod’s buckle is composed?” I inquired.
She obliged me, so I studied the compounds and created a spell to alter the composition.
“Have a problem with my… Whoa! Is this real gold!?” questioned Jarod.
“That has to be an illusion. Transforming substances accurately is impossible.” stated Ai.
“You’ll have to change if he doesn’t dismiss it. That doesn’t work with your outfit.” insisted Mai.
“I’ll take some bling!” exclaimed Brandon.
Dejon, who had leaned forward to look, turned to me and asked “Is that how you became so rich?”
“No. I wasn’t nearly so capable with that type of magic before my honeymoon.” I assured him.
“I’ll do an analysis on it later.” stated Jarod to Mai, who was gripping his buckle.
“Should be roughly fourteen karat. I didn’t feel too much gold would be good for a buckle, but I wanted to pay for the inconvenience.” I explained with a wink.
Waving his hand to get my attention, Brandon said, “Seriously. I don’t mind pure gold.”
“And where would you sell it?” asked Brenna.
“Sell it? I really want the bling. I figure Jarod or Mila will probably help touch it up as needed.” he told her as she rolled her eyes.
“You can afford your own bling without troubling my husband.” stated Alma.
“Troubling? He made that look easy!” claimed Dejon.
“The spell was incredibly complex and took a large amount of energy, so not easy by any standard I recognize.” argued Ai.
“You really must get used to watching magic around you.” insisted Mai.
Both sets of doors opened, revealing my parents.
“Good morning.” stated father as he looked around over the present he held.
Mother waved and asked “Where’s the birthday girl?”
I turned to look back at the mirror which had been displaying her to find that she was intercepted by my little fairy friend. When I turned back, Mila was relieving father of the gift. I looked to my wife, who gave me a slight nod. She’d be able to interrupt the excitement with the fairy before Dani became too caught up.
“She has apparently been distracted. Alma and I hid her presents throughout the yard and house with clues where to find them.” I explained.
Grinning, Alma said, “I blame Aaliyah. She’s the one who told us that simply handing over gifts from us was too boring for our daughter.”
“Dani enjoys the puzzles.” I assured my parents, not wanting them to think we were making her do something she found arduous on her birthday.
“Jarod, dear, that buckle really doesn’t go well with your shirt.” stated mother, having apparently caught sight of it.
“Blame your son.” complained Ai and Mai in unison.
“Yeah, well… I felt like demonstrating a spell the twins would find difficult, and turning his belt buckle to gold qualified in my mind.” I explained.
Shaking his head as if he didn’t know what to think, father said, “Your mother’s right, you do have the golden touch.”
Several of us laughed, and Dani finally arrived with my little friend.
“Happy birthday!” exclaimed mother, embracing Dani.
From there, we all went to the dining hall for breakfast. Marco had prepared a feast in breakfast dishes and even ate with us.
With a little pleading, Dani convinced father to join her in finding the rest of her gifts as soon as they both finished eating. He would certainly be getting his exercise today. Kayla joined them as well, not wanting to be left out.
Mother chatted with the rest of us as we watched the trio in their adventure. Well, quartet if Mila wanted to be counted as she arrived periodically to collect gifts as they were discovered.
When they finished, quite successfully, Dani opened her presents from everyone else, thanking them each in turn. Brandon did not understand what he set in motion by giving her a jack-in-the-box gag gift. She enjoyed it, but I looked forward to seeing her retaliation on his birthday. I needed to teach her about Halloween in advance, but we had time.
We then started Star Wars: Episode IV in the theater just after Aaliyah arrived, since Dani was interested in seeing those movies. Jarod had known in advance and had given Dani a fitting costume, though Mila had to help him adapt the design to Dani’s tastes. I had gone too many years without them. Her reactions throughout the movie were priceless, given that her planet was part of an intergalactic community. Thankfully, she didn’t say anything she shouldn’t.
My parents opted out on joining the lightsaber fight which ensued afterwards, but they were happy to act as referees. Far more of my friends were adept at simulating Force Powers this time around, but I still covered for Jarod, Brandon, Dejon, and Jemal while Alma helped Aaliyah, Kayla, and Mila. Dani was a quick study, but she was called out a number of times for cheating when her magic went outside the realm of the Force.
By the time we finished, lunch time was nearly upon us, so we moved back to the dining hall after Marco kicked us out of the kitchen for being a tad disruptive. My parents were going to head out after eating, but Dani persuaded them to stay for the next movie.
After a bit more persuasion, they stuck around for Episode VI as well, but they really did take off when dinner was over. Instead of kicking off the prequels, we then headed to the ballroom. Dani wouldn’t have been satisfied without dancing on her birthday. Her people’s parties were the most energetic in her galaxy, given how they heighten one another’s emotions, and dancing was always a part of them. Several hours later, I felt confident that she had enjoyed her birthday.