Well, despite my best wishing and hoping and thinking and praying (insert Dusty Springfield flashback here), it rained on the day of my son’s graduation party.
Thank God I cleaned out the garage, ordered that tent, and took my parents up on the offer to borrow theirs too. It keep the 200 people who arrive pretty dry. The rain did stop at about 4 p.m. and then the kids entertained the crowd with what they term “human bowling”.
Human bowling is when you place a large tarp on the sledding hill we have near the house, put a hose on it to wet it down, rub dish soap all over your body and slide down – out of control. Somewhere along the way, the kids started to line up at the bottom of the hill and the person coming down would aim for them to knock them down. It’s been a party favorite for all of the kids’ grad parties that we have had here.
The adults are engrossed watching it – it is good clean fun. After the older kids have their quota of red marks and bruises, the little kids get a chance to go down. We don’t let them “bowl” as you have to be at least 16 to be that stupid, wreckless and willing to experience some bumps and bruises to get a laugh.
At the end of the day, I realized that it might have been a good thing that it rained. I had planned on food for 200 and that’s just what I got – 200 people. If it had been sunny and more had attended the party, I probably would have run out of some things. Funny how things work out.
My kids and neices and nephews came over the next day and cleaned the mess all up. It was amazing. And wonderful.
After the party and the actual graduation ceremony, at about 2 p.m. yesterday, the sadness hit me. I had dropped my son off at his friend’s house, who is leaving for the Army in 3 days, for a goodbye lunch. I pulled out of the driveway and noticed the garbage at the curb. The garbage made my cry. Yes, that is how pitiful I am.
His mom must have been cleaning and threw out some of his old toys. The broken old small-sized hockey sticks, sticking out of the garbage bag, were such a sad tribute to the many days the boys got together to play hockey (or football, etc.) that a wave of melancholy washed over me faster than those kids slipping down our sledding hill, and hit me just as hard. Good thing none of the kids were there as I was bowled over by the realization that those days are all gone, and in about two months (temptation to go to the calendar and count the exact days now) I would be alone.
Mom’s human bowling isn’t that much fun.
When I told my daughter later that evening about what hit me, her reply was, “We won’t be throwing any of our stuff out.” Then I thought about all of their crap piled up in the basement. I distinctly heard the sound of a solid strike.
“Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your head.” ~ Martin Mull