School’s Out for Summer!

We had a celebration for J and her friends for the last day of middle school. This is a long-held tradition that started back when the kids were little and I knew that a couple of her friends’ moms would be at work all day, hours beyond the ridiculously-early school dismissal. I’m glad, now, that we made it a tradition, and that it’s continued into middle school. When M was this age, her friends’ parents often had super-fabulous outings planned and she’d get whisked away, so I was a little worried when J hadn’t settled on or committed herself to inviting anyone to our house with less than a week to go. But as it turned out, everyone she invited was free and wanted to come.

One little hitch was that it turned into a bit of a marathon, just like Niska-Day. I had thrown out an “opening bid” pick-up time of 3 or 4 pm for Wednesday’s gathering. I knew that this would be too early for some parents, and I said that later would be okay, but I thought the early time would encourage them to aim for as close to 4 as they could. Well, the last parent to arrive showed up just before 6 pm. I think that next time I might offer to drive girls home at the end–that way we’ll have a definite end time. After all, everyone’s old enough to be home alone now, right?

There isn’t all that much work to a party, but it’s definitely tough to concentrate on anything else. I confined myself to my most mindless “work-work” at the computer, because I was constantly springing up to respond to something: the boys up the street invading for a water fight, a girl looking for someplace to change, a couple girls getting up to no good on their phones.

Not to mention that everyone was constantly hungry. I served the same traditional Last Day of School Menu. Veggies and fruit out and waiting for when they arrived, pizza and chips a bit later, then make-your-own ice cream sundaes. I ended up making popcorn later, as well, as the afternoon dragged on and they sacked out in front of the tv, and I rejected two girls’ requests for seconds on the ice cream sundaes, because I’m mean like that. I had ordered the pizza two days ahead of time, and it was nice to have that task out of the way. Although I learned that pepperoni has been knocked off its Meat-Eaters’ Favorite Pizza pedestal by Buffalo chicken pizza. Remind me to order a huge Buffalo chicken next time.

I also completely spaced buying sherbet for the punch. And the punch is, like, a must-have. I actually bought two different punch bowls at a garage sale way back when the girls were in nursery school, because they seemed just perfect for, you know, princess parties and such. And while we are well beyond princess parties at this point, J was excited for punch. My very loose recipe is half Sprite, half juice, a few scoops of raspberry sherbet, and some frozen raspberries. It was actually minutes before the party began that I pulled out the Sprite and juice and thought to myself that I might be missing something.  I got in the car and was unbelievably efficient, because sherbet is necessary.

So, the party was good.

Today was the first day both girls were home for most of the day, and unfortunately, I had to remind the girls that they’re not permitted to kick each other in the head. Other than that it’s gone well, though.

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