Yesterday, the morning of Boy in Black’s graduation party, I woke up to a thunderstorm. Usually I love the power and energy of a summer storm, but when you are planning to entertain a bunch of people in your backyard, all that drenching rain is not such a great thing. I knew that the moisture would get the mosquitoes stirring, so I called family members and asked them to bring electric fans to use under the white canopy the kids had set up the day before. "You want me to bring a fan?" my mother asked. "Uh .. have you noticed that it’s raining out?"
But the rain stopped before noon, and Shaggy Hair Boy helped me run extension cords out to the backyard so we could use the electric fans outside for mosquito control. Since the day was rapidly turning hot, we set up a few fans inside the house too.
The heat did not prevent the teenagers from being active. As soon as Boy in Black’s cousins and friends arrived, a whole group of them went to the field across the street to play Ultimate Frisbee, skidding dramatically into big puddles of water during the game. When the frisbee players eventually returned to the backyard, most of them were red from heat and covered with mud. Once they had revived themselves with food and drink, they moved to the basketball court for basketball and then four square, before drifting back to the white canopy for another round of eating and drinking.
Other relatives and friends preferred to cluster in the shade of the white canopy, where the electric fans made things surprisingly cool. We’d set up a blackjack table in the living room, and that is where the teenagers ended up eventually, gambling for chips that could earn them prizes. One of my husband’s secret talents is dealing blackjack. That's how we met, actually. I went with friends to a casino night at a local high school 28 years ago. A senior at the high school, he was working a blackjack table.
Despite the humidity and heat, Boy in Black's party was a success. During the afternoon, we ate and drank and talked in the shade of the canopy, and as evening approached, almost everyone over the age of 25 left and the party moved indoors. The teenagers and kids stayed up all night playing blackjack and poker and some other card game, happily devouring the party leftovers.
And today? Walk through my house and you can find sleeping bodies everywhere.