I'm not Martha Stewart. All those cool party ideas on Pinterest are merely aspirational for me. When we invite friends over to hang out at the pool or the fire pit we throw together a plate of cheese and crackers or bowls of chips and salsa and a roll out a cooler full of beer. Even my big parties aren't much on decor or presentation.
But I enjoy them. Colin enjoys them. Our friends must enjoy them, unless they just feel compelled to show up out of politeness. We always have tasty food and plenty of it. And although it's work, it's also--in a weird way--kind of effortless.
Except for this time.
We have a graduation party this weekend. This is our fourth and final graduation party. Our oldest son has graduated from college. Our youngest son has finished his homeschool studies. And their cousin has also graduated from high school. It's outside-party season, which is my favorite.
This should be a breeze.
But it just isn't clicking. I've flip-flopped on my menu 87,000 times. I can't seem to get my mind wrapped around what needs to be accomplished. And then, suddenly, this weekend, I figured out what my problem is.
I don't have my Beppy.
This is the first major party that I've thrown without the help and input of my daughter. I try to bounce menu ideas off of my sons, and they stare blankly. I think about favorites that I would like to make, but realize that I can't do that much last minute prep alone. I dread Saturday morning with a crew of three--very helpful--males for last-minute party prep, and not another female in sight. (Because, you know, there are some things that we just KNOW need to be done.) She has been my right hand in party-throwing since the first birthday party that we had for one of her brothers, probably around 1995.
I may never manage to serve olive cheese balls again. It's another in a long string of adjustments to my oldest child/only daughter/cooking-shopping-scrapping buddy
Oh, I'll survive. The party is slowly coming together, but things won't be quite as good as they would have been. No one else may even notice. (Please God!) But I'll know.