“Fourteen?!” my husband exclaimed. I looked up. He was talking to J-, who had apparently called from school asking if she could bring her friends over for pie. Fourteen teenagers in total. Two pies. After some hemming and hawing, he agreed, figuring that it was better to have them over than for them to have pie on some street corner.
We scrambled to get things ready. This meant ditching the comfortable bathrobes and breaking out the stack of saucers that I’d accumulated for my tea parties. As the kids tromped closer, W- directed them to the backyard. Although it was cold and the deck was wet, it wasn’t chilly, and there simply was not enough space in the living room to accommodate fourteen sugar-high bundles of energy. So the deck it would have to be.
W- brought the portable workbench out. We put the saucers and forks on the workbench, entrusted the pie server to J-, and stood back as the kids divided the apple pie and the pumpkin pie among themselves. They were apparently celebrating a fundraising milestone: their club had raised $100 for Free the Children. They had been planning the pie party for a month, but had forgotten to figure out where this pie party was going to take place. Fortunately, W- and I were at home and could give permission.
After the pie, the kids brought out their packed lunches. They shared their snacks with each other. Chocolate was the object of much envy, seaweed the currency of cool. They congratulated themselves on their fundraising, and circled around to repeat their oath. (It started with “I like kitties, and turtles too.”) They planned more celebrations for their next fundraising milestones.
It was much less chaotic than one might have expected. The kids tidied up before heading back to school, giving us the saucers and forks with thanks and apologies, and putting other garbage into a large bowl. It was fun hosting everyone, even.
Things that worked well:
Things that would make this even better: