Monday, January 11, 2010

Afterschool Special: My Mom's a Loser

"Mom, Cora invited a bunch of kids over here after school tomorrow.  I'm having a party."
"Yay! A party! But why is Cora inviting them?"  
"I don't want the responsibility."

I try not to focus on the illogical point for it is only illogical to me.

After five plus years of being untethered and blissfully unaware of the school dismissal bell, having had so far two good girls who get themselves home without incident or need for trouble after school, I remember that middle adolescence puts after-school BACK IN PLAY.   Stranger danger indeed....who are all these kids?

Boy shoes are staggeringly large to a mother of daughters

It's a half-day dismissal and 12 kids traipse to our house for a karaoke party and pizza to finish out the regular day before their various athletic practices that are held relentlessly come holidays, half days or high water.  Several parents check in to make sure there is indeed a parent here.  I appreciate that even good girls can throw after-school parties without permission, but in this case, big mama is on it.

I'm always desperate for Ally or Olivia to have a party here--I beg them to have kids over, but they rebuff me and tell me to go make dinner like a good little mother.   I like to put faces to these names I hear day in and day out.  Especially the boys.  What can I say?  Life. I have no.  This morning as Ally got ready for school, I said, "I'm so excited for our party!  Oh, uh...of course, I mean your party."  My joke is tolerated because she knows I am a little happy and that is just a little sad.  Chip tells me later when I phone him with the update, "Good job, Julie, you're finally popular!" Teasing deserved and gladly taken.

I've made frozen pizzas, supplied throwback Mountain Dew made with real sugar, limited edition (if swim practice goes well this afternoon for the boys, I've informed the coach the real secret to faster's  original DEW!) and have left them largely alone--but I can hear most everything from where I sit.   The laughing, the singing and the screaming comes up through the cat door loud and clear.  I recommend a cat door to anyone with teenagers, cat or no cat.  The good thing about this crew is a palpable sense of group A.D.D. (two girls briefly out frolicking in the snow without coats for reasons unknown to me and numerous requests for paper towels) and so it seems improbable that any two of them could actually sit down long enough to enact a plan involving smoke, drink or sex without somebody else running up and interrupting by spilling Coke all over them.  I just don't see it happening, but then again I don't want to.  I threw a blanket over the beer in the downstairs fridge, to the amusement of one kid who thought it was a body.  Are they naive... or wily as coyotes?

My friend explained my own kids to me recently, for I could not see the forest for the trees, that a nighttime party brings too much pressure to have "a party that is not lame."  Having an un-lame party might require slightly less attentive parents to ensure greater access to fun and shenanigans, something Ally knows is not possible under my roof as long as I have a pulse.  Or maybe she just wants to keep that part of her life exciting and private.  She does love my not being totally clueless (dare I say cool) but maybe not after 8 pm except acting as chauffeur.  So an after-school party with only good clean fun expectations fits my little slacker hostess and her goofy mother perfectly.

The athletes have gone to practice and the remaining guests have made a fort I can see from the cat door.  All their legs are sticking out so that seems like an okay situation.  It smells a lot like the elementary school gym on Family Fun Night.  But one of the hot bodies taking a quick bathroom break makes a point of stopping and saying, "Thanks for having us all over."  God love him.  Which one is he again?

"I'm blogging."
"About my party?"
"That's weird."


  1. So...were there actually faster splits for the swim team after the Throw Back Mtn. Dew? Love it!

  2. OMG, you are Mrs. Kravitz even IN YOUR OWN HOUSE.

  3. Can I send mine to your house for spring break when they enter middle school?

  4. Oh family fun night how I hate thee. Love the cat door photos and the fort!!! Their legs sticking out is so cute!!! Chip is right, you are so popular!!!