By Abby Ciona
It was a beautiful crisp fall morning at Muskoka Bible Centre, and Aiden was excited. It was his little sister’s birthday, and Aiden had planned the perfect birthday full of adventures around MBC for the two of them!
“Why are we up so early on my birthday?” Jayla yawned after they finished breakfast in their camping trailer. “The sun is barely up!”
“It’s for your birthday surprise,” Aiden explained. “I planned a ton of fun things for us to do together today, so we have to get started.”
“That sounds fun!” Jayla smiled.
“First,” Aiden announced, “We’re going fishing!”
Dad waved as the two of them walked out of the trailer park. “Have fun, you two! Stay safe!”
Jayla and Aiden hiked down a steep hill until they finally reached the waterfront where the lake met the river.
A blanket of fog hovered over the water, and birds began to sing as the golden sun rose in the sky. Aiden and Jayla cast their fishing rods into the river, and the lines splashed in with a plop! A pair of ducks swam by, quacking at Aiden and Jayla.
But after an hour of watching and waiting, they had not caught even ONE fish.
“Do you think we should try something else?” Jayla asked. “My arms are getting tired from holding the fishing rod.”
Aiden sighed. His perfect birthday adventure plan was not off to a very good start.
“Ok,” he agreed. “We’ll try something else. Next on my list is canoeing!”
The two of them rented a bright red canoe from the marina, clipped on their life jackets, and paddled onto the quiet lake. But after just a few minutes on the water, the waves grew choppy, dark clouds loomed overhead, and thunder rumbled in the distance.
A marina staff member waved at the siblings to come back to the boat launch. “Sorry, kids,” she apologized. “A storm is coming. It’s not safe to be out on the water.”
“Don’t worry,” Jayla smiled, taking off her life jacket. “It was fun for a few minutes!”
Aiden shook his head. “No, this was not part of the plan.” All the other activities he had planned were outdoors. The rain would ruin everything!
Desperate to save the birthday, Aiden thought of an idea. “Oh, I know! Maybe we can buy a new game at the Bookstore to play this evening during the rain!”
“Sure!” Jayla agreed.
But when they reached the Bookstore, it had a giant “CLOSED” sign on its door.
“Oh no,” Aiden groaned. “I forgot it’s closed today!”
“That’s alright,” Jayla said. “Dad packed some card games to play together.”
“No. I’m not giving up yet,” Aiden insisted. Frustrated, he ran back up the steep hill to the campground store, the Nibble Nook, before any more bad things could happen.
“Where are you going?”Jayla yelled, struggling to keep up.
Aiden reached the Nibble Nook, burst through the door, and asked the cashier, “Do you have any cinnamon buns left?”
“Sorry,” the cashier replied. “We just sold the last ones a few minutes ago.”
“That’s okay,” Aiden replied, even though it was NOT okay. The last surprise he planned for Jayla was buying her cinnamon buns – her favourite treat. Would anything go right today?
“You’re fast!” Jayla exclaimed as she followed him into the Nibble Nook. “Is everything alright?”
Aiden didn’t know what else to do. “Here.” Aiden said as he placed a package of candy in her hands. “It wasn’t what I planned, but I wanted to get you something for your birthday. And then maybe we’ll play on the playground for a bit.” He sighed, disappointed in himself. “Surprise,” he said quietly as he left the Nibble Nook.
Jayla beamed as she ran after him with a big hug. “Thank you!”
“I’m sorry your birthday was such a disaster,” Aiden apologized and sat down on the bottom of the playground slide.
“What do you mean?” Jayla asked, confused.
“I had this whole great plan for us today and nothing worked out! We didn’t catch any fish, our canoe- ing was cut short, the Bookstore was closed, the Nibble Nook was out of cinnamon buns AND it’s going to rain soon, which means we won’t be able to have a campfire tonight either! Nothing went right!”
“But it was the best birthday ever!” Jayla exclaimed as she did a little dance. “I had SO much fun!”
Aiden looked up at her. “But… why?”
“Because we got to spend time together! You’re always sooo busy with schoolwork and sports that I don’t get to play with you very often. Today is a day that I will never forget. And it’s still not over. Dad is making us his famous chicken curry for supper tonight.”
Aiden hadn’t thought of it that way before. “Okay, I guess it wasn’t terrible.” He brightened. “And it was kind of fun running all around MBC with you today,” he added.
“But maybe next time, you should check the weather before planning a giant outdoor adventure,” Jayla teased.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning crackled across the sky. Jayla shrieked, and the clouds opened up and began pouring down rain.
“Race you back to the trailer!” shouted Aiden. “Maybe we can watch a movie tonight.”
“And even if the power goes out, we can still have fun together!” laughed Jayla.