Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not Exactly Beach Blanket Bingo

So, my oldest son, the Owl, had his 15th birthday party this weekend. It was the first time he'd had (and the first time he'd WANTED to have) a co-ed party. And it was a pool party. Which means not just pretty girls came along with the guys, but pretty girls in bathing suits.

Surprisingly, it was actually very laid-back and easy once I got past the panic of, "Oh my God everyone is going to be here in fifteen minutes and I haven't sliced the watermelon yet and where is the Engineer with the ice and is that the doorbell already??!"

First thing we did, being responsible parents: we put out several kinds of sunblock, aloe, and extra towels on the screened porch. We talked to lots of parents on the phone to assure them that, YES, this was a parent-chaperoned party. I like that my son's friends have these kinds of parents.

We filled a BIG rolling cooler with about twenty-seven colors of gatorade, lots of bottled water and "Olympic" Coke (which I have to admit is pretty cool: the cans have Coca Cola logos from Russia, China and Ethiopia on one side). We had huge slabs of watermelon
(cats have a strange fascination with watermelon)
and Stephen Colbert-approved Spicy-Sweet Doritos. The Engineer fired up the grill for hot-dogs and cheeseburgers for lunch and dinner, (he was in charge of cooking, which is one of the reasons I was so laid-back, I'm sure). And, of course, we had the big birthday cake for dessert. More on that later.

We ended up with 6 guys and 3 girls, which turned out to be a great mix. The guys started out playing videogames, and we were worried the girls would feel neglected, but we needn't have worried because these girls were assertive (yay, assertive girls!) and had all the guys out in the pool in no time. One of the girls even made my son this incredibly cool gothic birthday card.

Half-way through the party, the Engineer turned to me and said, very earnestly, "We need a beach ball. The kids need a beach ball to play volleyball with, and keep out of the water. We must have a beach ball!"

Now, we already have about ten balls: nerfy, squishy, hard, soft, small and medium-sized. But the Engineer decided we needed a big blow-up beach ball, immediately. And since he was manning the grill, guess who went out on a Big Beach Ball run? That's right, me. I had to go to two stores to find a big beach ball. But as I am Supermom, naturally I delivered. That beach ball is huge: 48" in diameter. But the kids really did love it ("Awesome!").

The Engineer was kept really busy at that grill. I'm a Mom with two hungry boys, so I know they can eat. But the girls the Rhino knows are very skinny and petite. Tiny little things. And, I am not kidding you, those girls could out-eat the guys. One girl had a total of four cheeseburgers, chips, watermelon, soda AND cake! Oh, to have that metabolism again!

Most importantly, though, the shy, usually introverted Owl went wild. His cake (remember I said I was getting back to that?) turned out great. It was a quarter-sheet, with whipped white icing, black music notes on the top (NO, he does NOT play a musical instrument, but he never goes anywhere without that mp3 player), and Happy Birthday! in red icing on the top. And around the edges, it was all trimmed in red and black icing. Not too kiddish, and seriously cool.

So here's the thing about that cake: you can't make, or so the bakery tells me, whipped icing that looks black. It just turns out greyish. So they trimmed the cake in buttercream icing instead, and it was very black. No biggie. Except that icing dyed everyone's teeth and tongue black. They looked like they had some kind of horrible oral cancer. So I was already picturing explaining to the other parents why their kids apparently had rotten teeth, when the girls got the cute idea to smear icing on the Owl's face. It started out with just a little, and then the guys joined in, and the Owl was laughing and smearing it as he was trying to get away. And of course he ended up with black icing all over him. Which is why I now have this pic of my son that looks like Marilyn Manson crashed our kid's fifteenth birthday party.

You know what? Totally worth it.

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