My oldest daughter who just turned sixteen in September approached John and I a few weeks ago about throwing a Christmas party for fifteen of her friends. John and I looked at each other, I remember our eyebrows being furrowed and saying "We'll think about it." We weren't all that concerned about how she'd survive it but how we would. Fifteen teenagers in the house?
So after some initial ground rules which we all agreed on, one of which was no one sneaking in any alcohol, the party was a go. John told her that if we caught anyone drinking we would be forced to confiscate it, take it upstairs and drink it ourselves. We both laughed thinking it was funny......she did not and gave us what I refer to as the "teenager look". So Friday morning before school I was presented with a long and somewhat unhealthy grocery list. Things like pop, potato chips, cheezies, candy canes and pizza. I suggested a veggie platter........again the look.
After school she went downstairs to create a much more festive atmosphere or so she said. Out came the boxes of Christmas decorations and before you could say "Rudolph" the room was decked out and I mean decked out. It rather looked like there was an explosion in Whoville. I suggested "less is more".
We asked her what they'd be doing at this "party" while we were upstairs. She said, "you know, playing DDR ( Dance Dance Revolution, see here) , talking, maybe Twister. John wasn't too pleased with the Twister part as there were going to be boys and he said he remembered being one. Then she said with a horrified look on her face, "your not going to keep coming down and spying on us are you?". With that we asked her if she would like us to come downstairs and "bust a move" to Madonna just so her friends would have an idea what good dancing was. She stood perfectly still and said, "if that seriously happened I would be scarred for life and please never say "bust a move"again". I forgot how much drama was involved in being a teenager.
Everyone began arriving around 6pm. Most of them I know and they are great kids. Our house has and will continue to be an open to door to them. They have always been very respectful, kind and relatively up front........well, as far as teenagers go. So kids came through and stopped to talk while I made pizzas (yes, they were frozen) and chocolate chip cookies (they were from scratch) before moving on downstairs.
Simba our cat was not in a good mood this evening as his peaceful lifestyle had been disturbed and he was mighty pissed off. So while I was taking the third pizza out of the oven he swiped at my leg to show me his displeasure. So to show him mine I put him outside. Five minutes later I sat down to eat, looked out the backdoor and there he was chowing down on a mouse. He looked at me, dropped it and cocked his head as if to say "So sorry I've been in a pissy mood attacking your leg and all but look I brought you a make up present".
By 11pm John and I were fading fast. I mean if it had of been a Saturday night we could have at least kept it together until 11:30 but at this point it was only the music filtering up from downstairs that was keeping us awake. Around 11:35 it all started breaking up as parents began arriving to pick up their kids.
When I finally locked the door for the night, I thought it ended up being a pretty successful party. Nothing got broken, all of the ground rules remained intact (that I know of), John didn't have to pull out any of his fancy karate moves with any of the boys and I didn't have to scar my daughter for life by dancing to Madonna in front of her friends. Yeah, I'd say pretty successful.