Every year for the past ten years, we have had a big 4th of July bash in our backyard. It started off on the smaller side with a few neighbors and friends, but it has gotten bigger and bigger with each passing year. This year will by far be the biggest of them all. Now, we’ve got all the kindergarten families we’ve become friends with to consider. So, somehow or another, I have gotten myself into hosting approximately one hundred people here at our house tomorrow! Just the mere thought of that makes me a little sick to my stomach, and I pray to God that it doesn’t rain.
Planning for a party of this magnitude is a little tricky, because you never know if people are actually going to eat when they stop by. Many people like to party hop on the 4th, so they’ve already eaten by the time they get to our place. However, I am a firm believer in having too much, rather than not enough. I’d rather have a zillion leftover hot dogs than a bunch of hungry people. The amount of drinks is another tough thing to try to pre-determine. We usually end up with enough beer and wine AFTER the party to have a whole other party! But, just as sure as we’d cut back on how much alcohol we buy, everyone would show up ready to throw back and do keg stands. You just never know.
I also like to have some kind of little fireworks display of some kind for the kids. The problem is that they are illegal in the state where we live. In the past, we’ve bought them in my parents’ town, where they are more than willing to sell festive explosives. My husband and his friends get all fired up (no pun intended) about lighting something on fire and watching it explode in the sky. It’s that whole pyromania fascination that guys seem to have, I guess. One year they were shooting off bottle rockets in the alley and nearly caught the giant evergreen in my neighbor’s yard on fire. And another time, they actually even alerted the police with all their explosive alley activity. Luckily, the teenagers next door were also out setting off fireworks, so my husband and all his “responsible” adult friends blamed it on them. This year, I was only able to buy some sparklers and some of those popper things, so I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be having any blue-uniformed visitors to the party.
I’m sure it’ll be a great time when it’s all said and done, but right now, it just seems like so much work. I ask myself every year why it is that we do this. The kids sure LOVE it, because they get to stay up WAY past their bedtime and run around and get filthy dirty with their friends all afternoon and night. I usually end up enjoying it as well, right up until the point where everyone has gone home and we’re left with an enormous wreck of a mess in the backyard. That’s when I want someone else to take over and let me wash that party right out of my hair.