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Walk the Planck

May 19, 2010

Scene: The Spy family’s kitchen. Harriet is cutting up watermelon for AJ’s snack. AJ comes downstairs after changing out of his school clothes. He is wearing a plain white T-shirt and running shorts.

AJ: Is it okay if I just wear a plain white T-shirt?

Harriet: Of course. Why?

AJ: Because I want a shirt that won’t absorb black body radiation.

[. . .]

Harriet: You mean you don’t want to get hot?

AJ: Yes.

• • • • •

AJ and I are getting ready for our camping trip this weekend. After a short period of panic, I have located the tent, soccer mom chairs, sleeping bags and mats. Tomorrow I’ve got to remember to look for the tarp and pick up some snacks and flashlight batteries. I think we’re almost organized. It does get easier to do these trips. AJ and I are both looking forward to sleeping in a tent. But I think AJ is looking forward to the prospect of stopping at McDonald’s on the way there even more.

I am still feeling weird about potentially being the only female attending. I feel like I’m crashing a father-son bonding weekend. I actually talked to the mother of one of my violin students about this when I was rescheduling her daughter’s lesson to accommodate the trip. She was a single mom when her sons (now in college) were young and she said she’d been in my place a bunch of times. “Just remember, they’re going to feel even more awkward about you being there than you will.” And she reassured me, “Don’t worry. You’re going to have fun.”

On the plus side, I should get a bathroom to myself. If they even have women’s bathrooms.

Which reminds me: I need to pack some toilet paper.

Also today, I finally bit the bullet and sent out invitations for AJ’s birthday party. “What?” you might be thinking. “I thought his birthday was months ago.” And you’d be right. But working around assorted sports schedules is an adventure. And then I had a brainstorm: On the last day of school, they get out at 10 a.m. Why not make the party then and it could be a combination birthday/last day of school party? So that’s what we did.

After years of having parties elsewhere, AJ really wanted to have his friends over to his house. We are slightly terrified, but as long as the weather is nice, we should be okay. 10 boys should be here to play kickball and eat pizza and ice cream. Hopefully the house and my sanity will survive the process.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 10:51 pm

    May want to edit the second to last paragraph…first sentence.

  2. May 19, 2010 11:03 pm

    Thanks, Smed. My, you’re speedy. I had just started editing it when your comment came in!

  3. eleanorio permalink
    May 20, 2010 7:20 am

    You’ll be fine, well about the birthday party and everything else.

  4. May 20, 2010 8:34 am

    If you can pray to someone, do it. We have had parties scheduled for the backyard and… then had rain. Let me tell you, children take up much more space indoors. And are louder. I suggest cocktails or valium (for you). Good luck. When does school end?

  5. freshhell permalink
    May 20, 2010 8:55 am

    Good luck on the camping trip! As for the birthday party – it’ll be find. Couple crazy hours and then it will be over. We’ve always had them at home. I actually like having kids running wild (semi-wild) for a bit. And then I like to see them go home again.

  6. freshhell permalink
    May 20, 2010 8:55 am

    FINE. Not “find”

  7. May 20, 2010 9:18 am

    I am slightly worried about the party because we don’t have much of a plan. I’m thinking now that I might try to get T-shirts for them to decorate — maybe in two colors, since they’ll be playing kickball in two teams. That would give them something to do and something they could take home. And then they’ll play kickball. Have pizza and cake. I’m not yet sure about the rain contingent. We could reschedule for the next day, maybe. Or just wing it with games indoors.

  8. freshhell permalink
    May 20, 2010 9:29 am

    That should be enough. You could always rent a movie for them to watch if it rains. Dusty wants to have her party around the new HP movie that opens in November but then worries that everyone she wants to invite doesn’t like HP. She’s got a new scheme every day. For a birthday that’s not til November. Sigh.

    Red’s birthday party is coming up soon and I haven’t a clue what to do yet. But, at this age, it’s easier. They can just run around and play and dress up. Plus, it’ll be warm outside so they can just run rampant in the yard.

  9. May 20, 2010 9:35 am

    AJ was in a quandary about two of his friends who, according to him, don’t really like to play kickball. He wasn’t going to invite them until I pointed out that they’d be much more bent out of shape about not being invited than about playing kickball and that besides, they could always say they weren’t going to come. Interestingly, they were the very first two to RSVP yes.

  10. May 20, 2010 12:33 pm

    For games indoors with boys that age, I highly recommend plastic swords, especially the kind made of nerf material, if you can find them. They’ve been used at all of Walker’s birthday parties since he was A.J.’s age, including his most recent one, when a first-year college student was among the male guests enjoying swordplay with the old, old swords.

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