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:
And THIS is Quinn:
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.
The 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.
The 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:
I 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.
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.
And here’s the boy…
Yes. 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.
Nate and Eli had a blast on Friday, too.
The 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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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…
Here’s to hoping this is the best summer vacation yet.