The house was alive with the music, laughter, and chatting-shouting of a dozen or so teenagers celebrating the birthday of one of their own. It was a surprise party planned by her mother but . . .held at our house.
This is not an unusual scenario. We have hosted pool parties for youth groups when we didn’t have youth and were out of town. Wine parties for people who just like our patio. Family get togethers because we have a large kitchen and yard. Friends have been known to post pictures on FB while enjoying the pool when we were at work. Part of the attraction, I think, is that we are pretty casual about entertaining.
I use casual as in “come in and help yourselves.” Our house is usually well supplied with drinks; we can muster snacks and meals or order pizzas. We don’t get uptight about the risk of damaged goods. When guests come to our house for the first time, we show them around with the final directive: now you are on your own. Other than a couple of broken windows, wine glasses, and water canisters, there have been no major repercussions.
The night referred to included Blue Boy and his friends. He and his mother put together some rousing games to keep the kids focused. Thankfully this group hasn’t paired into couples so the patrolling of dark corners in the yard for hormonal youth testing their amorous inclinations was avoided, unlike C-boy’s 16th birthday. This well-supervised party was not haunted by older siblings looking for an empty party house, another dilemma at C-boy’s 16th whence Mike spent the evening serving as bouncer.
Mike and I greeted the guests, settled the new dog upstairs with Mowgli, and retreated to our bedroom where I nursed my bum knee and we feasted on carry-out gyros while watching “The Crown”. We enjoyed the party atmosphere vicariously, thankful that we were not in charge.