Seventeen. The magic number, apparently. One backyard, one clear night, 1100 square feet, and seventeen kids.
No, this time I didn’t “just say no”.
I said yes – to… count ’em… seventeen sleeping in my teeny-tiny home.
Can you say Bodies, bodies everywhere – teenage feet, and teenage hair? Would you do it? Would you dare?
What We Do For Our Kids
Masochistic? Um, not so much. Crazy? Mmmm, probably.
But when the request for one last blow-out was made a few days ago (insert earnest face of much-loved child here _____), I wearily nodded in the affirmative. There would be bucks expended from the UnBudget, an early morning run to the supermarket for food and drink, and a just-in-time trip to Targét for chip bowls. There would be the usual suspects, the usual worries, the better-safe-than-sorry collection of keys, and the constant surveillance (from a discrete distance). And yes, I must be certifiable.
More to the point, even though my teens rock, how could I agree to host and sleep 17 – when there’s only one of me?
Mad Hatter? Tricky Teens?
Let’s just say I’m a veteran of chaos and clutter, and with five years running of spontaneous (and occasionally planned) gatherings, I’ve learned a thing or two. I know most of the kids, and I solicit the watchful assistance of the more responsible. They like coming to our little home to play, so they know it’s in their best interest to be reasonable.
And while I’m one worn single mama who just wants it to be over with… the hormonal mood swings (his), the all-nighters (for both of us), the constantly emptied larder (Empty Fridge Syndrome) and eternally churning washer and dryer… this was my way to applaud the accomplishments of my son as well as his friends.
Might I also mention I discovered graduation chip bowls for $1.50 each at Targét? How cool is that? To be frank, I was navigating the edges of a migraine, but this seemed like the nicest way I could show my terrific kid how much I love him.
Grilled Cheese is Teen Miracle Food
Oh, I bitched and moaned a minuscule amount, I exited frequently to the yard where they gathered, I paced around the house, and I also stood at the stove for two hours making grilled cheese sandwiches. About 36 of them, in fact – going through Chicago bread, white mountain bread, Italian wheat, and finally, bargain basement back-of-the-freezer bread, all with good old fashioned American cheese.
Note to self: This appears to be the secret to my success! Add a little margarine, a lot of patience, and flipping at the skillet to serenely serve mucho teen bodies, while offering the opportunity to mill through the throng – making sure everything remains under control.
Single Parent – Free at last?
In the wee hours, when all were safely inside where it was warm (and they were out cold), I caught a few winks. And trusty Espresso Roast in hand – I’ll get through the day. So might I now celebrate the fact that this is the last teenage party? For a few months, anyway?
If you’re a teenager and wondering how to write a thank you note, or a parent hoping your kids know how to say thank you under unusual circumstances, these words in a lopsided chalk heart did it for me. I’m guessing I’ve earned that “A” on Unexpected Fun Stuff, when it comes to the parental report card.
Our kids deserve it when they earn it, and and my son certainly has.
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