School’s Out!

On Friday, school was officially out for the summer.  Everyone was tired of reducing fractions and dreaming up interesting transitions for paragraphs and finding a tube of Ritz crackers and a piece of bubblegum in their lunchboxes, because their mothers didn’t have anything else to pack.  It was time to put a fork in the school year and call it done.

And if that’s coming from the mother, you can imagine what the kids were thinking.

I went to Starbucks with some girls on Friday morning, because we felt like we needed to celebrate OUR accomplishments for the school year, too.

Mainly, I was just relieved that we were going to come out with an A in advanced composition.  Although I loved that teacher to her deepest core and adored her thoroughly, she handed out A grades like the Mafia hands out free money.

Which is not at all.

I felt like a grande, no-water chai latte was in order for myself, since the boy and I were going to find an A in that class on our report card.  I also wanted to throw confetti, but then I remembered that I’m the one who runs the vacuum cleaner over here at the Jedi Manor, so I refrained.

(Throwing confetti at Starbucks might’ve gotten me expelled, and that’s something that I couldn’t risk.)

(Starbucks is my home away from home.)

Some of my friends had some saddened hearts about school being out and finding another year behind their children, but listen.  I TRIED to work up some tenderness in my heart for the end of 6th grade, but I just couldn’t.  All I could envision was having the boy home so that I could run downstairs to switch out laundry loads without having Thing 2 scream at the top of the stairs because we were on opposite sides of the baby gate.

(My summer goals are small, people.  I just want to do the laundry without the screaming while I’m downstairs.)

After school, the boy’s buddy, Quinn, and Quinn’s mama threw a little party.  It was the type of party that makes Rush Week on a college campus look like a tiny get-together.  We tried to count all the kids in attendance.  Someone came up with forty-one people who were too young for the Lime-a-Ritas, but that number was probably a low headcount.

Here was the gang when the party got itself started:

IMG_4765Oh…

And THIS is Quinn:

IMG_4754He’s ornery, and we love him.  He has been one fine friend to our boy.

The kids kind of milled about for a while and focused their attention on the buffet of food.  We could have fed a third world country with the spread that was laid out on Quinn’s mama’s dining room table.

IMG_4753 IMG_4757And there are my boys!

IMG_4755The grand finale for the party was supposed to be SMACK A SODA CAN WITH AN ALUMINUM BASEBALL BAT.  Every party needs a strong finishing event.  However, the kids remembered all the fun that they’d had LAST YEAR doing this exact same thing, and so they begged to actually OPEN the festivities with can-smacking.

Enzo picked up a bat and got that party started.

IMG_4776 IMG_4777 IMG_4784The object is simple.  Arin (Quinn’s mom) had a cooler full of soda cans that were left over from an earlier event this spring.  Instead of having the kids actually DRINK the soda, we encouraged them to pitch cans to batters, because it’s so much healthier.  And we encouraged the batters to BAT AWAY!  SEND ONE OF THOSE CANS OVER THE FENCE!

You don’t have to tell a boy twice to do this!

There’s my boy:

IMG_4788I have to stop and laugh over his windpants.  Because listen.  The wind on Friday was obnoxious.  It was the type of wind that makes women on the prairie go crazy, so that they end up in asylums, shuffling around in their bathrobes and house slippers while they pull chunks of their own hair out by the roots.  This wind billowed the boy’s pants out in a way that makes clowns jealous.

This is Tristyn, demonstrating exactly how a twelve-year-old boy can explode a can of Coke with a bat.

IMG_4794 IMG_4795Sometimes the Coke fallout lands on the photographer and makes her hair sticky.

I know this from THE EXPERIENCE.

And sometimes, when boys like Matthew smack a can, you just need to jump out of the way.  Batted cans are on a level playing field with government-fired missiles.

IMG_4798Carter was quite anxious to take his first turn at bat on Friday.

IMG_4805 IMG_4806 IMG_4811 IMG_4812 IMG_4813I imagine that with a good deal of Tide, his mama got the soda spray out of his clothes.

And here’s the boy…

IMG_4859 IMG_4862 IMG_4864 IMG_4865Yes.  When his pop can exploded on contact with his bat, I was focused on Arin’s car in the background.  A real photographer wouldn’t have done this.  I also don’t know WHY the boy is spitting soda, but look!  It’s not every day you catch something like THAT on a digital memory card.

(I almost typed the words ON FILM.)

(I’m glad I didn’t.)

(It would have dated me and made me appear elderly.)

Quinn smashed plenty of soda cans on Friday, too.

IMG_4814 IMG_4815 IMG_4817 IMG_4873 IMG_4874So did Liam.

IMG_4820 IMG_4821 IMG_4822Look at that fallout!

IMG_4825I’m still wiping it off of my camera.

Nate and Eli had a blast on Friday, too.

IMG_4879 IMG_4882 IMG_4886 IMG_4888IMG_4827 IMG_4831The boys were absolutely convinced that you could get a better explosion if you shook the cans up first.  Or if you just lightly bunted them first and dinged the can a tiny bit.  There was a whole lot of bunting and shaking going on outside.

IMG_4846 IMG_4869 IMG_4871There’s Garrett…

IMG_4836 IMG_4845I don’t think any activity measured up to the fun to be found in Soda Can Baseball for these boys this school year.

IMG_4851 IMG_4853 IMG_4858 IMG_4876 IMG_4877 IMG_4878IMG_4904 IMG_4906 IMG_4908 IMG_4914 IMG_4918 IMG_4931There’s Gracie.  She just watched the Olympic Coke Spray event.  Girls don’t like to get covered in goo.

IMG_4902There was also some trampoline fun on Friday afternoon.

IMG_4892There were kids everywhere…

IMG_4762 IMG_4932 IMG_4934 IMG_4947 IMG_4952 IMG_5031 IMG_5035 IMG_5036 IMG_5037 IMG_5068 IMG_5076 IMG_5084Thing 2 wasn’t even remotely interested in hitting soda cans, because he found the DUMP TRUCKS!!  That baby of ours will push a dump truck to the ends of the earth and back.

IMG_4939 IMG_4940 IMG_4942 IMG_4943 IMG_4944 IMG_4960 IMG_5023And then!  What a treat!  Patrick gave Thing 2 a ride in a dump truck!

IMG_5020 IMG_5026The bigger boys also raced the dump trucks and the skateboards and the scooters down the paved driveway, because that is the sort of things that boys DO.

IMG_4977 IMG_4996 IMG_4998 IMG_5006 IMG_5011Indoors, there was dancing.  Arin put Just Dance on the Wii.  (The Nintendo?  The X-Box?  The PlayStation?  I don’t know which one.  I’m not a Gamer, with a firm grasp on gaming consoles.)

The kids danced and danced and DANCED.  Well… except for the boy, who refuses to dance.

But Thing 2?  Well, the boy may not dance, but Thing 2 can cut a rug like no other.  He has rhythm and style and dancing finesse.  He’s an impressive sight to girls, for sure.  Thing 2 will NEVER be the guy against the wall, trying not to be noticed, at a school dance.

IMG_5043 IMG_5044 IMG_5049 IMG_5050 IMG_5052 IMG_5058 IMG_5077There were also some Man Hugs at the party.

IMG_5054 IMG_5055 IMG_5061 IMG_5069I wish y’all could HEAR the music from this event.  It was the kind of pulsing loudness that makes your eardrums drip blood.  However, you can gripe about the wind and how much you despise it, but if you make a verbal statement that the music might be a touch too loud, you’ll be labeled.

Old-Timer!

Friday’s party was a genuine blast.  The kids were sweaty and full and exhausted and happy.  They were content to just BE together.  The grown-ups were content to be together, too, because Arin had Lime-A-Ritas.  And wine.

Look!  Here’s the boy and his friend, Liam.

IMG_5082They have literally known each other their ENTIRE lives… since the day Liam was born, four weeks after the boy arrived.  They even went to preschool together.

IMG_2347That picture makes me have some emotions, let me tell you.  Wearing balloon art on your heads when you’re five is flat-out adorable.

And I miss my five-year-old boy.

I miss that little guy a lot, but I’m sure proud of the twelve-year-old he’s become.

There’s Kellen and the boy on Friday…

IMG_5085…and back when they were in kindergarten and wearing a cape made them the pinnacle of fashion.

IMG_2363And look!  It’s the boy and Enzo… in the first grade!

IMG_6450And Kellen, the boy, Patrick and John, the summer after kindergarten let out.

IMG_6119I’m not sure WHY they have to grow up, people.  But they do.  And I’m glad we could have this party for them last Friday, to welcome them into the summer between their 6th and 7th grade years.

Here’s to hoping this is the best summer vacation yet.

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