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Friday, December 28, 2012

In which the world does not end.

Daughter #3 decided to host an End of the World party on December 20th. She did all her own appetizer shopping, and informed her friends that the dress code would be semi-formal. She asked permission to take over the whole house, rather than being restricted to the basement and back room as usual. We requested that the beer pong tables at least be restricted to the basement, and that candles be kept to a minimum. She reassured us that there would be no smoking anywhere in the house, that keys would be collected and guests that drank would be strongly encouraged to sleep over. All 25 of them.

For days she planned this party, arranging a potluck menu and creating an apocalyptic song list soundtrack.

She spent the day decorating and preparing the house for the party, i.e. hiding all of the knick knacks and family photos that she doesn't like, creating mood lighting and rearranging furniture. We got a little worried when we saw the good china coming out, and asked her to switch to stoneware instead. She frowned for a moment and then conceded to sensibility. But she insisted they weren't using plastic cutlery. This was to be a fancy party after all. I had to smile when I saw her arranging the buffet exactly the way we do for Sunday dinner. Kind of made me proud.

The Farmer and I were invited to Daughter #1's home in Barrhaven for dinner, so we reluctantly left Paulina and her friend Meghan mixing a fruit concoction in the punch bowl and looking up recipes. As I closed the door behind me, I'm pretty sure I heard something about a 'flaming B-52'. Shiver.

About four hours later we returned and every light in the house was on. You could hear the music down the drive, which was lined with vehicles. I expected to see mayhem in the kitchen but to my surprise there was a stack of freshly washed dishes on the counter and a bunch of kids sitting around the island, debating the validity of the doomsday clock.

I went downstairs to inflate the mattress in the spare room and make up the extra beds. By eleven I was tucked in bed with my new earplugs, and the last thing I remember before falling asleep was feeling the house shake as two dozen kids jumped and sang along to Kesha's "We're Gonna Die Young."

A couple of hours later I woke again to hear someone brushing their teeth in the bathroom. Part of me wanted to get up to make sure the girls were sleeping upstairs and the boys were downstairs, as requested, but then I thought nah, they're nineteen and besides, they are just going to laugh at me.

When I woke up the next morning, feeling well rested, the house was silent but some bright lights were still on. I investigated and found a young man sitting straight up in bed, still in his jeans, looking white as the sheets. He announced that he had been sick all night, after only two drinks. I stopped myself before asking if the drinks had been straight alcohol. He suspected food poisoning, not from anything at the party but something he had consumed earlier. I felt his forehead and sure enough, raging fever. I gave him gingerale, soda crackers, a fan, a dim light, a towel, a fresh bucket and some Gravol. Half an hour later I washed out the bucket again and before I left I gave him some Ibuprofen. I diagnosed the flu.

Paulina checked in on her patient, her eyes wide from lack of sleep. It amazes me how she always wants to host these shindigs, knowing the amount of work that goes into the cleanup, usually with a hangover and no sleep. But she is the hostess with the mostest. I suggested the cleanup involve copious amounts of Clorox bleach spray on doorknobs, light switches and handles. But I told her to get some sleep first.

I left for work just after 6:11 am, when the world had been scheduled to come crashing to a halt. It didn't - although it appeared as though a tornado had ripped through the house. There were teenagers sleeping on every flat surface.

I said a quick prayer over them as I passed, that they have a good year ahead of them, and that the flu wouldn't ruin their Christmas.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So loved this post... and so can't imagine my babies hosting parties one day...although they r not that far off with the oldest at age 13! How does this happen?! I swear I was 19 just the other day! Good for u Diana to support ur teen! From one farmwife to another (although this one not accidental...LOL), I wish u a new year full of goodness! :)