I can't even begin to tell you about what a great day we had yesterday. It was all things and then some, just a cool vibe. We got to rub elbows with the bohemian elite of our community, and they are such an interesting and neat group of people. What a great night, capped off with one of the greatest moments (thus far) of the parental universe: seeing A perform live on guitar. And she did a fantastic job, thanks a great deal to KR. She was nice in forsaking the limelight to let A take center stage, and personally (I realize how biased I am) I thought she tore it up. Calm, confident, and composed, she sang beautifully and played beautifully. Can you beat that?
The day was a scorcher, and for most of it the kids couldn't stop talking about the Party. From the sound of it, it was the party to end all parties. They were so excited, and I began (I'm such a cynic) to wonder about building it up too much. Might this be a possibility? A was slated to play guitar with KR and she was thrilled about it, but being the big dorky downer that I am, I had some anxiety about it. Was she ready? These guys are the real deal artists, and she's just a kid who is learning. I wasn't even sure if it was going to really happen, but I was wrong on all counts. More on this later.
We had plenty to do in preparation for our trip, as well. We unpacked our camping gear and assembled our tent, but man was it hot. Maybe the hottest day of the summer, thus far. It was a scorcher. While I struggled with the darn light switch, the kids played and R cleaned. I also baked bread on the hottest day of the year because we were out and I also wanted to hand some out and get some feedback. Of course, I ended up burning the bottom, but that's not the end of the world.
By afternoon, R was feeling a little stressed because she wanted to tend the garden, but couldn't do it in the peak heat, so by the time we were ready to leave, she still had plenty to do. With this in mind, I set off with the kids alone to the party, not really sure what to expect. We figured it would be a big to do.
I brought bread and homemade salsa, and we got there early, which in retrospect was nice because KR played hostess and it was still scorching hot, so it was just right to swim. Of course, we didn't factor in that we were hanging with the hip bohemian crowd and swim suits were optional. This came up immediately, and I was of two minds. On the one hand, I'm all for being naked with a bunch of the opposite sex, but not necessarily when our kids are present. I know, I know, nudity is not an issue our household, but nudity with adult women is a different story. Either way, it did not come up because swimsuits were worn, as KR pointed out, there are people who not as "familiar." Furthermore, I'm not sure how R would respond to me skinny dipping with other women when she wasn't present. I wasn't about to find out.
The pond was fantastic, just the right coolness to relieve you from the heat. The kids had a blast, though the water was a little cool to lounge and soak in. At some point you get a little cold, but man was it nice. We were the first ones in, I jumped in with my shorts because JM did it, and I didn't want to seem like an uptight prude who had to change into swim trunks. Kind of dumb, I know.
HH showed up with A&I, and the kids all played in the water. They have fun together, I really wish they'd become better friends, though they are all going through some tough times and things could get interesting once school starts again. A is getting to that age when school influences can create friction at home, especially when domestic situations are not ideal. Either way, the kids had fun, and a good time was had by all. N was a little pensive in the water, understandably so. When you're not an experienced swimmer, ponds are harder to deal with than pools.
People began to file in and some joined us at the pond. As the sun set it got a bit on the cool side in the water, but that's what happens when you're a wimpy Flatlander. We all headed down to the where the food was, and the party was happening. There were people of all walks of life hanging out and eating and jiving. They had fired up the cob oven and pizzas were being cranked out. I immediately went into neurotic parent mode and searched out vittles for the kids. I managed to fight for two plates of food, and it was only after I was satisfied that I'd gotten a nice plate for each of them that I could stop kicking and screaming for the food. Boy, life ain't easy for a neurotic dad.
By this time R had showed up and we all got some food while the kids hung with the other kids. Lots of interesting eats, and they kept cranking out the pies. I was impressed with how together the young people were. Teenagers, the lot of them, but so mature and together, helping out and talking with the old folks. There's something endearing with how nice and grounded they are, even though they grew up and live under unconventional circumstances. Maybe there's something to all that.
After the food, ice cream and cake were served, and I tried to help by cleaning up a little. The kids disappeared into the woods to explore a little, and we went after them just to keep tabs. They came running when desert was mentioned, and then, it was time for the show. More on this in my next post.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to ADMANE Samir for the pic.