As requested, there was a bouncy house.
One of the nice traditions that surround high school graduations is that there is generally some kind of party to celebrate them, one where the grownups can sit and talk and do all of the stuff that grownups do that never really seem interesting when one is of graduating age, while those of graduating age can congregate in a different part of the house and do the things that they find interesting, or at least most of them since even at my current age I can remember a great many activities that I found interesting when I was 18 that I’d rather not have people doing in the middle of a party at my house these days.
Also, everyone gets to eat, which is always a good thing.
When we were planning this event we asked Tabitha and Fran what they wanted, and the bouncy house was one of the first things mentioned (along with grilled pineapple). And we thought, well, why not? It turns out that there is a guy who will rent them locally – he even delivers, sets up, takes down, and hauls away, which is a bargain at any price, really – and the neighbor let us use his side lawn to set it up so we’d have room for all of the tables and food and assorted party things in the back. It was surprisingly easy, even if it did deflate whenever the dishwasher turned on and tripped the circuit. Eventually we persuaded the dishwasher not to turn back on.
There was also grilled pineapple, because why not.
We had a few other traditions to abide by as well, such as the fact that it was far too hot (my own high school graduation party took place during one of those heat waves that buckle the pavement and melt the cat) and the fact that the party became a way to legitimize a number of household projects that have been in the works for a while now, such as taking out the front fence and having Adam come in and replace the back stairs with the new patio. I also put together a wide array of old photos of the graduates so you can see them growing up – Fran’s parents sent us some from Belgium so we could have both graduates represented! – another tradition surrounding these parties and one that I rather enjoyed.
We were doing it right, oh yes we were.
Of course we were woken up that morning by fierce and unrelenting storms and I spent a good chunk of the morning trying to work out how we could do this all in the living room (short answer: we can’t) and let me tell you how glad I was when the rain stopped and the day turned out to be sunny and nice, especially if you managed to duck inside for the air conditioning at reasonable intervals.
We spent the morning and early afternoon preparing for the party – setting up tables and chairs, cooking various foods, decorating the place, and so on. Lauren put together a playlist that would cover the entire 7 hours that we had allotted for this open house, and we set up a little wireless speaker that could handle it – she did a nice job, too. We did take a short break for a Father’s Day pizza lunch, since for long and involved reasons that couldn’t happen on the actual Father’s Day, and that was a lovely thing as well.
Eventually the guests arrived, and as noted the grownups (and the younger kids) mostly congregated in one place – outside, where the tables for eating and talking were – while the teenagers congregated elsewhere, either by the bouncy house or inside where the Cards Against Humanity was.
The rabbits were a big hit.
Eventually things settled down and the last of the party seemed to revolve around the possibility of henna tattoos, which didn’t quite work out as advertised but were nevertheless entertaining.
And then we all went to bed.
It is a lovely thing to share achievements with family and friends, to gather together around food and conversation and bouncy houses and celebrate. Congratulations to Tabitha and Fran.