the school year draws to a close, parents begin looking forward
to the slower pace of summer-with a less regimented schedule, relaxing
family vacations, and a long list of menial household chores to
inflict upon the children anytime they mention being bored.
But in the weeks before school ends and these leisurely activities
commence, parents must survive an onslaught of recitals, awards
programs, concerts, banquets and other occasions that require me
to take a shower and put on long pants.
This year, since my wife and I were already physically and mentally
shattered from running the end-of-school gauntlet, we thought we
might as well finish ourselves off by hosting a pool party for my
middle daughter's ninth-grade class-mostly to justify paying thousands
of dollars to have an enormous retention pond installed in our back
yard a few years ago.
Before hosting a pool party for teenagers, it's important to prepare
the venue for the beating it's about to endure. My primary responsibility
in this process involved removing the countless yard cigars strategically
deposited in high-traffic areas by our pets, though I strongly considered
leaving them there during the party for my own entertainment.
Along with having an uncontaminated setting, we really wanted the
kids to have a great time-and stay out of the house as much as possible.
Since we have three daughters, and there would be male children
present, we thought it apt to purchase several stereotypically dude-centric
pool toys, mostly involving sports balls. Instead of engaging in
some aquatic athletic competition, though, the boys spent most of
their time untangling their extremities from the pool-volleyball
net when they failed to clear it from the diving board. Then they
took turns positioning themselves under the floating basketball
goal to risk having their melons pegged by dunk shots. (At least
I got my money's worth.)
Anyone with teenagers knows that next to the drama of speculating
on who might be Snapchatting someone's boyfriend who just broke
up with someone else's best friend's boyfriend's ex-girlfriend,
their highest priority is food. And these teens were absolutely
voracious, plowing through enough tacos to feed the entire US Congress-when
its members aren't on CNN expressing outrage over the fact that
Washington gridlock has rendered them about as productive as belly-button
lint. I was hoping that there might be some leftovers, but when
the salsa settled, there was hardly enough left to satisfy a paramecium
on a diet.
A couple of times during the party, I just had to stare in awe at
the sheer number of adolescents frolicking around in what was once
pool water that had transformed into a viscous mixture of sunscreen,
Axe body spray and mascara. I've always considered myself the kind
of guy who might sit out on the porch threatening any young whipper-snapper
who dared step foot on my lawn-including my own kids. And now my
guest bathroom was being overrun with a throng of simmering hormones
in bikinis and board shorts.
Speaking of the bathroom, after the party ended and the parents
retrieved their children (apparently without most of their clothing),
it looked like the aftermath of a flash clearance sale at Goodwill.
There were socks, t-shirts, shorts, and various swimsuit segments
strewn everywhere. If it weren't for my wife's honesty, I'm pretty
sure I could have made enough money selling the lost and found items
to buy another taco buffet.
As the day wound to a close and I stooped over to peel the last
wet Band-Aid from the pool deck, my middle daughter put her hand
on my shoulder and thanked me for throwing her and her friends such
a great party. And it really was a lot of fun with a group of fantastic
kids. Best of all, we could now look forward to the lazy days of
summer-full of sun, family fun and, most importantly, tacos.