“Do you think you could cook burgers for 27 kids,” I ask.
“Sure, but why?”
“I’d like to have my grade nine home room class over for a year end barbecue.”
Permission slips signed, parent drivers lined up, date and time set, and the party is on. The kids swarm our house and yard. I find several boys taking turns toting our children around on their shoulders. I cringe when they climb up into the playhouse with our kids. Can it possibly hold all that weight? It does.
A clutch of girls are chatting on our bed, another group on the deck. They eat, talk, laugh, and clean up before their parents come to take them home. On their way out the door they ask if they can do this again in grade 12. My husband says sure.
Three years later, there’s a knock on the door. Four boys from the grade nine class have come to ask about a reunion party. My husband and I look at each other. We’d forgotten all about that request. Sure, we say. A date and time are set.
This go round 30 kids arrive in their own cars, many of which are much nicer than ours. We see heads peeping out of the neighbors’ windows and imagine them saying, “What are the Jones up to now?” This time the kids bring the food and do the barbecuing.
Our children are too old to be toted around on shoulders, but they enjoy the company of the teens who hover over them attentively. We eat, talk, and laugh until the wee hours of the morning knowing that these parties will forever remain fond memories for us all.