I love parties, especially when they’re at my house and someone else is hosting. That’s my part-hermit, part A-plus personality. My oldest child threw a birthday party for a friend yesterday in my backyard. My admission price was helping out on the fringes as she and her buddy did all the real prep. Her buddy has a one year old and near three old. They’ve been here a few times this summer and at best have been reasonably lukewarm to me. Yesterday was different as their mom and my daughter shish-ka-bobbed fruit, veggies and meat. My kid has never done anything half way. The young ones became my miniature shadows. I kind of wanted to see my college football team play, but the wee ones were way too fun. Unaccustomed to little people, I bopped the older one with my arm when I went to turn around. She barely blinked and continued to make me her pied piper. I have been exploring for my artist with an incredible support group lately. Maybe the light bulb within me has a higher wattage.
Kids see things that adults learn to be blind to. Their mom set up a kiddy pool and slip-n-slide on the hill. The delight, the spontaneity, the excitement in a child’s eye grabs my heart strings every time. They have no worries of how to pay the power bill or where their next meal is coming from. They just imagine, explore, follow their hearts and exist in the present. Responsibility and social mores seem to deaden us as we age. The one year old chose to ignore her mother’s scolding and showed me she needed me to hold her. There’s a first for everything. Sopping wet, it was an honor to pick her up. Older girls don’t let me do that anymore.
Water sports drain energy as I painfully learned on my dad’s pee-wee baseball team. He prohibited swimming on game day. Nine years old in 95 degree heat, I had to pool dip and I didn’t get to play that night. The little ones were put down for a nap to recharge. I tuned in to my game and saw my team block an extra point attempt and then run it all the way down to the other end of the field for two points. This was going to be some wild day and the party had yet to begin.
I hung the birthday sign and pulled out extra chairs. The guests started arriving. All 30-plus years younger than me, I collected hugs. Nine out of fifteen or so is pretty good. Some of them I have known before the kid in them was scared away in young adulthood. The unhuggers must not have seen my lamplight glow or were too inhibited by taught social restrictions. Most of the evening, I sat out on the lawn that looks like a freshly mowed hay field, thanks to this late summer weather. The hostess and guests mostly congregated on the deck. I was a firefly, the writer type, sitting in the corner scribbling in my mental notebook. I absorbed more than the paper towels in commercials.
A party mind set, a bit of imbibitions and mouthful delights quickly leads to laughter. I watched and joined in the interactions, dynamics and fun. My gift to the guest of honor was a poem I recited in her ear. She later requested I share it with the others, so she I guess she liked it. Two of the guest were drag queens. Good money, good tips they told me. They simply call themselves queens. Super cool, outgoing, friendly guys. Guess I’ll have to go to one of their shows to get a hug from them. One of them was making blended drinks for others and was asked if he was a bartender. He said, no, I’m an alcoholic as he sipped root beer into the evening. I applauded both of them for openly being who they are. My kid has some pretty cool friends. With a stimuli overdose, I said goodnight to all at 11pm. They must have missed my inner glow worm because they built a bonfire with flames two stories high.