When Chandler was in first grade he liked to write books called The Adventures of Super Dog and Super Turtle. He would draw pictures of a dog and a turtle with capes and write stories about them. It was freaking adorable.
“Hey, Mom,” he said to me. “Let’s have a book making party for spring break.”
“A book making party?”
“Yes, we’ll invite all my friends and we’ll make books.”
“Do you mean your whole class?” I asked.
“No, just the boys,” he told me.
Just the boys. Great.
But I am a writer. And maybe my son would grow up to be a writer too. Who was I to discourage such a party?
“Sure,” I told him, “that sounds like fun.”
And so we invited all the boys in his class (as well as a few more from some other classes) over for a book making party. I think there were 40 of them. Or maybe it was 15. It seemed like 40, because as luck would have it, it was raining. (Thank you El Niño!) You have never seen 40 (or 15) mothers drop their kids off faster, looking forward to having three hours of bliss, after having to entertain their kids for half a week during a rainy spring break. They were practically hydroplaning down the street, perhaps afraid if they didn’t get away fast enough I’d change my mind.
One of the mothers took pity on me and stayed to help. I think I cried tears of joy, got down on my knees and kissed her feet in gratitude, but I’m still not sure I adequately expressed my deep and sincere level of gratitude.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t remember much about this party. I don’t know if that’s because it was 13 years ago or because the experience was so traumatic it’s been blocked from my memory (or a combination of both), but I do remember this:
It takes 40 (or 15) boys about 5 minutes to make a book.
40 (or 15) boys do not want to calmly and quietly watch a video for the remaining 2 hours and 55 minutes of a book making party.
40 (or 15) boys trapped inside a house on a rainy day are easily bored, incredibly loud, and very messy.
I know I say this all the time and it is so (so, so) cliche, but I really can’t believe so much time has passed so quickly (a lot more quickly than that party). How it simultaneously seems like so long ago and just yesterday. (Trust me when I say I can’t remember much about yesterday either.)
Chandler went to Myrtle Beach with his track team last week for his first college spring break. I hope he made some wonderful memories.
Memories that years in the future will become blurry with time, yet at the same time seem like only yesterday.