Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grad Party Gone Mad

Landon, Class of 2013
I've been working all weekend getting ready for Landon's graduation party. It's less than a week away, and I'm semi-panicking. I know I shouldn't be. I told myself that with this last child's grad party, I was not going to stress. We'd just blow up a few balloons, put out some food, open the garage door, and call it good.

But then the day looms closer, and I become a woman possessed. I'm pulling up dandelions with a spade from the lawn, vacuuming lint from behind the dryer, and washing grime from the bathroom ceiling fan.

I know this is ridiculous. Like any of it matters. Who's going to be looking behind the dryer or at the bathroom ceiling anyway?  It's not likely, but the fact is that someone could. And that's what terrifies me.

My own mom painted the porch floor only when we were having a graduation party. She'd have good intentions but would inevitably run out of time and be up half the night before graduation painting the cement floor green. I still remember fans going full blast in a vain attempt to have the floor dried before the first guests pulled into the driveway.
When I was in high school, everybody had their party right after the ceremony. So, basically you didn't go to anyone else's party except your own. The standard fare was ham sandwiches (on buttered buns), a sheet cake, mints and punch. The really good parties had little weenies in barbecue sauce.

Now there are pasta bars, gourmet hot dog buffets, hog roasts, and walking tacos. A few years ago, I went to a party which was a Sunday brunch. They set up omelet, waffle, and pancake stations. They served 250 guests on China (the mom had been collecting place settings from garage sales for two years). It was memorable, if not insane.

Parties now stretch out from weeks before graduation into mid-July. You might get invited to 20 of them. You waddle from one party to the next, pacing yourself. A chicken wing here, a root beer float there. You don't have to cook dinner for eight weekends running.

I'm trying to keep this all in perspective. Landon's party is going to be among 50 or more next Saturday. We'll have more than enough food . And, no one's going to notice if there's a stray dandelion in our backyard.

With all the things that went on this last year (his dad's surgery and recovery, his Uncle Lars' hospitalization, Paige's wedding, and Grandpa's funeral), Landon deserves a blow-out party. We'll celebrate his accomplishments and the confident man he has become. My sweet boy's all grown up. I say I won't cry at his graduation. But, of course, I will.

Okay, enough with being on the computer. Break's over. I need to start baking the 20 dozen cookies for the cookie buffet.

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