On a glorious autumn afternoon, 20 little angels are soaring through the trees, relaxing on beanbag "clouds," and feasting on angel-topped cake and angel-hair pasta. In the center of this celestial mayhem is lively Kyra Kennedy, who turned 5 at summer's end but chose to celebrate her birthday a few months later with a heavenly host of kindergarten classmates and friends.
Luckily for Kyra, the Bedford, NY, home she shares with her parents, architectural designer Mary Richardson Kennedy and attorney and environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and her brothers, Conor, 6, and Finn, 3, is truly a child's paradise. Inside, the furnishings are both comfortable and unpretentious, with family photos and keepsakes filling every available nook and cranny. Outside, an inviting expanse of lawn creates the perfect setting for games of tag, trampoline acrobatics, and the ultimate thrill ride, a harness and zip line that allow the squealing angels-and a few mischievous devils-to take to the skies. "For Kyra, angels symbolize all that is good and beautiful," says Mary Kennedy, explaining the impetus for her daughter's birthday party. "Both Bobby and I come from very large Irish-Catholic families-I'm one of seven children, and Bobby is one of 11-and Kyra feels strongly that we all have a guardian angel in our lives."With a laugh, Bobby Kennedy adds, "Kyra is always saying that she's struggling to listen to the little angel on her shoulder. When Mary was putting Kyra on a plane recently with her aunt, she reminded Kyra to be polite and behave. Kyra replied, 'I know-I have to listen to the angel on my one shoulder and not the devil on my other shoulder.' She cocked her head and said, 'I can hear the angel now, laughing and talking and having a party.'