So... now I am the mother of another teenager. Sammy turned 13 this past Sunday. After much pestering, I finally caved a couple of weeks ago and agreed to his plans for a party where he could invite his friends. This "friends" party was planned for Saturday evening, while the "family" birthday party was Sunday evening.
We have had a few parties in the past for Sammy and his friends, both large and small parties. He had a Halloween party in 5th grade where about 30 kids came, including not only his friends, but many of their younger siblings. It was a great party; we turned the basement into a haunted house. Also, many of the parents stayed for the party, and we had food and beverages upstairs for the adults. It was fun. Sammy also had a Wii party with about 12 or so friends not too long ago. They all stayed in the basement, playing Wii, air hockey and ping pong... and they got a bit loud, but not totally out of control.
But this 13th birthday party Sammy was planning soon went a bit over the top. His initial list of friends he was planning to invite was somewhere around 50 or 60 kids. We put the kibosh on that right quick and made Sammy cut the list down to around 25. The plan was to have a bonfire, though it was truly simply a campfire out in our firepit by the pond. We also moved the trampoline out on the lawn nearer the firepit and the garage.
So Saturday arrived, and we got everything ready. We set up the food tables in the garage, and Kev grilled hotdogs while Joycie and her boyfriend, Mike, got the chicken wings in the oven, and I opened up 6 large bags of various chips, plus the usual condiments and pickles. (Those kids love pickles, especially dill... dill pickles are always the first thing to go at one of Sammy's parties.) This time, I bought 2-liter bottles of pop instead of individual cans... because at the last few parties, during clean up I found so very many cans of pop that had been opened and were nearly full, what a waste of money and a pain to clean up. So I got 4 Mt. Dew, 3 Coke and 2 Barq's rootbeer. They went through every drop, too, but only drank about a half of one gallon of cider, leaving 3 gallons completely untouched. And I think it was Joyce, Mike, Kev and I who drank the cider. Two birthday cakes, one chocolate, one white, and the kids were all well fed.
I think there were 21 or 22 kids that showed up, all 7th and 8th graders, so ages ranging from 12 to 14.
Some of them were pretty well behaved. But I'd have to say that most of them were not. When the party started at about 5pm, I gave them all the ground rules:
1) No more than 2 people on the trampoline at a time if they are jumping,
2) No flips on the trampoline, and (to the whining of "what?! another rule?!!"
3) Don't go in the woods area across from the front of our porch because that's where our dogs take their dumps. And, oh, you're welcome. Assholes.
The first thing they did was throw a football out into the middle of the pond. They were throwing a nerf thing like it was a weapon, nearly decapitating me and others. They didn't listen to me at all. I had to yell at them about the trampoline often. They spilled their food and drink on the blankets and just left it, to be ground into the blankets by others. They let their cups and plates and forks fall on the ground wherever they landed, for me and Kev to pick up. They were loud and raucous. Kev had to kick a group of them out of the garage because they were running around in there with cups full of pop, getting pop all over our garage. Assholes. I heard a few of the kids say "that man is mean" and I said, "he has to be, coz you little jerks won't listen to me." Some of them took the little pumpkins I had on my porch, and we found them broken open all over the yard. Other kids were taking apples off our trees and throwing them at each other; Kev found several on the deck and the porch. Sweet. That would have been a great addition to our French door.
Thankfully, Joycie and Mike guarded the house. Between the potential dog crap and the clay from near the pond (which we could not keep the kids away from), I didn't want them inside the house. Joyce & Mike made sure they used the half bath near the garage when they had to use the toilet, and that they didn't go near any carpeted area or any other area of the house. Thank goodness for Joycie & Mike!
After the last kid left shortly after 10pm, Sammy, Kev & I were sitting out at the fire. Sammy said he had a great time, and he thanked us for giving him the party. I told him I was very glad he had so much fun, especially since it turned out to be his last big party as a teenager.