9:00 pm: Phone rings: “Mom, can you please grab the flip flops off our porch and bring them over to the neighbor’s house ?”
Me: “Sure, be over in a few minutes…”
…And so the epic summer night began!
I stumbled over the fort made out of all my porch furniture, found the flip flops, maneuvered my way back through the porch and house, past all of the bikes, skateboards, food wrappers, water bottles and shedded costume clothes from a day full of kids in my house! I smiled and my heart sang as I could not be happier than knowing these children love being here and that they spent their day free to just be kids! (They were in their very cool fort on our porch, in the heat, from about 1pm until 8pm, coming and going as they pleased. Total kid bliss.)
A few minutes later I rounded the corner to my friend’s house and all the kiddos were now gracing their driveway anxiously awaiting a new birthday bike being built.
My friend handed me a beer and we settled into the idea that it would be a long summer night as these boys seemed to just be getting started. Flashing bikes zooming about at mom startling speeds, kids all over the place, hover boards, foot races to see who was the fastest, and three parents ready to support it all!
As the new bike build came to completion, my friends and I stood back, chatted a bit and relaxed. The kids moved swiftly like bats in the night. Only quick glimpses of each child as they zipped past in the fleeting bits of street light, shrieks of pure delight and giggles coming at us from every direction. We tried to talk about work but we kept getting pulled into all the festivities, which in retrospect, was such a gift!!
My girlfriend disappeared and then reappeared with a large bag. She was pouring water from the hose into a large bag and I figured she was watering some type of new shrub. Moments later she called the boys over and let them see inside.
“WATER BALLOONS !!!!” they all yelled in excitement. And it was ON! Little water balloons, (from the very cool Bunch o Balloons packs), were being thrown in every direction. Moms, dad, everyone was in it to win it. Within mere minutes we had gone through tons of balloons!! We were all soaked and laughing, and we were all in that special moment, children.
My friends and I exchanged playful glances as water dripped off our heads and little pieces of balloons were found stuck to us everywhere. That was a total mom win. She nailed it when she snuck out those balloons! It was epic!
Because there was no stopping the fun yet, next came laser tag. The boys grabbed the laser blasters and were off and running. They proceeded to play full blast, for at least an hour and as they did more neighbors came trickling out to see what all the excitement was about. The adults all ended up on the porch while the kids expended continuous, unstoppable energy.
Eventually the kids all came to us, seeking water, snacks and sleepy comfort. Now the parents were all full of liquid energy, so my friend put on a cute movie and they all curled up on the floor and melted into their cozy spots.
They were wet, barefoot, carefree and happy. They were kids. And we parents loved every minute as we remembered and shared so many of our own childhood summer night memories.
We carried our two, precious and worn out boys home, late, very late, warmed them up with hot showers and tucked them in. I wrapped around my youngest and smiled myself to sleep.
Ahhh. To me, it was heaven.