We have a party in our back yard at least once a week, and have for about a month. A note to our friends: Don’t feel left out. Neither Bill nor I are invited either. It’s our two eldest grandkids — Adelaide and Alastair — who host the party for their friends.
Our back yard is large; large enough, in fact, to put up a volleyball net and have a regular volleyball game. And volleyball seems to be the name of the game. Each week, the group gets larger. Yesterday’s soiree included about 15 to 20 kids. All of them were wearing swim suits and hats. This one included a picnic lunch.
The thing is, were our grands and their friends not enjoying our yard, the grass would be empty. Bill and I often sit out on our patio, but it isn’t like Bill ever turns to me and says, “Hey Kris, are you interested in putting down that bloody mary and hitting a volleyball over the net for a bit?” It’s a good thing, too, because the last time I played volleyball was in high school PE class. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get my serve over the net a single time. And we didn’t wear swim suits.
I was talking to my sister Bec as the kids started to arrive.
“Will you be invited to play?” she asked me.
“Oh, golly,” I replied. “I certainly hope not. If I came out in my swim suit (were I to even have one), the kids would likely all go scampering.”
Here’s the thing, though. I know that all Baby Boomers understand what I’m about to say (and I’ve said it many times before). Despite the fact that I have arthritis in my hands and feet and neck, and despite the fact that the skin around my chin sags and my arms (well, let’s not talk about my arms), I sometimes forget that I’m not 18 years old. I seriously look in the mirror sometimes and think, when did THAT happen?
And I felt that way yesterday as I watched the kids play volleyball and slide on their homemade Slip-N-Slide. They were playing their radio (maybe too loud, I thought, in my best get off my lawn way). The music they were playing wasn’t rap or today’s Top 40 (as though I know what are today’s Top 40). Instead, they were playing the Doobie Brothers and Boston and the Elton John and Michael Jackson. I even heard Build Me Up Buttercup by the Foundations which takes me back all the way to the 1960s. I could sing along with the words (which I did quietly in my kitchen as I prepared dinner so that Addie and Alastair weren’t humiliated)…..
These are nice kids. They all thanked me as they left, despite the fact that I didn’t do a single thing for them (except find a plastic fork for one quiet young woman who asked me politely). They all looked alike to me, so introductions were useless. I could pick out Addie and Alastair, but the rest could have been clones.
I was delighted that I was playing my part in keeping these 15, 16, and 17-year-olds out of trouble. I was also thinking that maybe I should have learned to play volleyball in PE.
Bill told me later he heard them talking about the next time they would gather. They would start charging, and the dining choices would be much improved. Burgers and hot dogs, according to Bill’s eavesdropping. I’m waiting for them to start talking about digging a hole in our yard and roasting a kalua pig, or perhaps putting a goat on a spit.
We all cope in our own way. Just sayin’…..