Therefore on Saturday night while he was away, and after Riley went to bed, I stealthily arranged his gifts: wireless earbuds so he can listen to music while running, a Milwaukee Bucks tee shirt because he and one of his friends have inexplicably decided that they're BIG fans, and a chair for his bedroom...so he can practice lounging, for college, or something. (I don't know, but it seemed like a good idea, and he didn't really give me much else to go on, so there you have it.)
Oh, except HOW could I forget the tickets he had me order for him, so he and a buddy could go see the Carolina Courage, NC's first professional women's soccer team, who are just now kicking off (ha! sorry...) their season at WakeMed Park, not too far from here. I had no problem whatsoever purchasing passes to a sporting event for his birthday--seems entirely appropriate for this kid, yeah? But let's stop and think for a hot minute...this marks the very first time that he'll be driving himself and a companion to an activity (I mean, not counting the local fast food and grocery store jaunts, of course)....completely unsupervised. In fact, we actually had to make sure we got to the DMV before the match, so he could upgrade to his unrestricted license and be legally permitted to drive after 9 p.m. Gulp! Welcome to 17? (Mom's gonna need some adjustment time, I suspect. Don't worry about me; I'm sure I'll be okay...eventually...)
But was I finished? Nooooo...I still had to wrack my brains for semi-creative (or at least "not TOO corny") clues to place inside the plastic eggs, so they could find their Easter stash when they got up the next day. As it turned out, when Riley came downstairs on Sunday the very first thing he said to me was, "I saw one of Derek's eggs!" Oh. Good. Grief. You see, I'd placed it in plain sight because Derek is notorious in this house for overlooking things that are literally right under his nose--in contrast, all Riley did was glance over and BAM, he spotted it instantly.
After we'd rousted Derek to join in the shenanigans, they each opened one of their hints and began to puzzle out what it was telling them. Derek's read: "Hope you don't have to work too hard to find a treat", to which his immediate response was, "Pffftt, I'm never figuring THAT out!" (It was hidden in Husband's office--get it? Work? It still took him several more verbal prods, not to mention some lighthearted teasing from Riley and me before he finally located it. Siiiighhh....see what I'm talking about?)
Meanwhile, Riley tackled: "Close your eyes and picture where a treat could be hiding"...and right away began peering intently behind every framed photograph in the vicinity until he came up with his egg...all in less than a minute. Derek snorted, "I would have never gotten that--'close your eyes'? It's not like we have a...meditation room!" (Ay yi yi...forehead, meet palm...) Fortunately, Riley was now available to help Derek again, with the following; "Relax, you'll find it!" This time he didn't even make an attempt; he just turned to Riley and said, "Where should I look?" Riley directed him to try the couches, which he did, with success (if you can call it that...). Finally, Riley's last slip of paper said, "Hope the suspense isn't eating you up!"...which led him to walk straight over to the pantry and pick up his loot.
As they opened their eggs to reveal the sweets inside, Riley (as expected) exclaimed with delight over his frogs. Derek interjected, "Hey, why didn't you get MY favorite animal?" When I glanced at him quizzically, he clarified, "Don't they make...chocolate sea cucumbers?" (Just...no comment...I decline to further examine my older son's convoluted inner thought process...) So if I were giving out awards for Easter 2017, I'd bestow these honors: Word Game Champion--Riley. Undisputed Biggest Goofball--Derek. And to round out what pretty much became his Birthday Weekend, he's making it easy on the WestEnders culinary staff by designating "pizza" as his preferred meal for tonight (whoo hoo--leave the cooking to our esteemed acquaintance....Papa John!).
Finally, we know from experience that it might be easier to wait a few more weeks until the UNC students clear out for the Summer before we try to hit up a popular local eatery, so this meal will be the official last hurrah of Derek's 17th Birthday. Excuse me while I go write down some coded instructions to help him find his slices... (Mwah hah hah!)