We have just had the loveliest day and I wanted to write about it before I fall into bed after being up all night. Mo had a birthday party/sleepover last night to celebrate his 16th birthday. There were seven teens here: Mo and Ryan, four girls and another boy. At around 9pm, three of the girls went home for the night; Maya and Dennis spent the night.

Logistics make co-ed sleepovers the logical choice. Almost everyone lives at least an hour away, so coming back and forth to a four hour party – particularly a nighttime party – was just out of the question. Everyone was invited to arrive at 4pm, spend the night and we’d have brunch for the parent pick-up Sunday morning. Party for them, party for us… perfect!

For sleeping arrangements, I had planned for Myra to sleep in Mom’s room. The kids told me in no uncertain terms ["No."] they were having none of that. OK. It’s not like any of them were dating… I know all four of them. What was I going to say? "I don’t trust you, you’ll have to sleep separately." I wasn’t going to get away with that. Besides, I do trust them. So we loaded mattresses downstairs to the living room and they all slept in there. "Slept" being pretty much a figure of speech.

I patrolled every couple of hours, but when I’d tiptoe down to spy, they were always just watching movies, laughing and talking… I finally went to bed at 3am, woke up at 5:30, ran down to make sure there was no mattress sharing (although you can’t tell by looking, I was a teenager once.) Myra and Mo were talking still, Ryan and Dennis sleeping. M&M swore they’d slept, but I don’t think so… I went back to bed. When I came down at 8, they were all asleep.

Between 11:30 and 1pm, two of the girls who hadn’t stayed over came back for brunch. Three sets of parents arrived. We hung out, ate, drank coffee. One of the dads and most of the kids hung out till early afternoon, playing chess, ping pong, playing with the dogs, chatting.

Around 4pm, when everyone had gone, we watched The Pink Panther with Steve Martin. Even though this is the third time we’ve seen it, we laughed and laughed. Stupid slapstick – only Steve Martin can make a grown-up laugh at a fart joke.

The oddly note-worthy thing about today is that it has been so normal. This has been our first really normal Sunday. Having people over,
hanging out with friends, having the boys’ friends over. These are all people we have known for awhile and hung out with before – this wasn’t one of the many awkward first-time-getting-to-know-you get-togethers, which is how most of ours have been. This was having actual known quantities over to break a little bread. Like we have a
life here. Like we belong. That feeling is very, very nice and something we have definitely missed.

And, whaddya know, there are fireworks to celebrate the end of such a nice day! I’m telling you: they do it up big here. These are not backyard fireworks by any means. These are like 4th of July fireworks
that a small town will save up all year to do. And we get them every
single night! Sometimes more than one. Already tonight, we’ve had two huge amazing displays in different parts of the city. And it’s early yet. But if there are more, I will miss them. I’m going to bed!


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