About time, eh. It was a day that will live in infamy...almost.
Because I am like this, I put housecleaning, shopping, cake ordering off until it could be put off no longer. Heck, I did order the tables and chairs and tents so at least there was that. Also, the food. The tons and tons of (hey, what are you doing for dinner tonight?) food. Luckily, I had a friend to help and we banged out most of the shopping in one night. Double luckily, I knew I was going to be a procrastinating loser about it so I had it catered. All we had to do (All...*giggle*) was set up the tables. Nik wanted orange and blue (wonder why...go Maggli-ooo). The tablecloths were orange. When I ordered her cake I put Orange and White down as her school colors. I am sure they were wondering what--? with that.
The day dawned bright and sunny, only it didn't. It dawned hot and windy and rain cloud threateny, which made me glad we had the tent which was tied to the corner of every house in a 5 block radius because our yard is small like that. I looked around saying to myself,"120 people..." Oy. But... we had stuff to do. We put the tablecloths on the tables, taped down the pics of Nik through the years and swiftly covered the tables with clear plastic. Only it didn't work out that way. We yelled and shook our fist at the wind that blew every freaking picture of every table just as we got the last one down. Finally... they were on. But we were getting close to people time. I quickly filled m&m bowls (it is so cool how, for "only" $5 you can buy a tiny bag of blue and/or orange m and m's...but it was Nik's party so...) and put them on the tables. Salt and peppers, votive candles, then I turned and told Nik there would be no wedding reception (I kid...). I walked in the house to finish putting together some salads, feeling quite pleased that we were as "on schedule" as we get at this house...and then a gust of wind blew up...and "crash, shatter...sh&t!..." came from the backyard. Every M and M bowl (about $50 worth of candy...) shattered, pictures whirling, broken candle holders. Little guy storming in the house with an "I am so done." I looked out the front window and yay, the first guests. I mean, I know I said 3PM but I didn't really think they would show up then...but everyone did, just about, and it wasn't a round robin with some going and some coming. It was everyone coming, and staying (I knew I should have bought the Summer Shandy and Mojitos). It started horribly but the day was really nice. I wanted his family, especially, to see that the children were doing okay, that I was standing and getting dressed and capable, still, of throwing parties. I wanted people to come to a house where, the last time there, pain was palpable and replace (at least a bit of it) with happiness. And that is what happened. And all of Leonard's aunts got into a water fight (childhood resentments anyone?) and the kids bounced on the trampoline and ran like kids are supposed to, and everyone raved about the food, and nobody cried. Okay, I did, but only in the bathroom...for what should have been. Nightime came and a bonfire was lit and the twinkle lights turned on.
Of course there are many side stories, including the one where my mother trash talked my father to everyone within earshot, that would make you giggle. Maybe I'll tell them on an "I don't know what to write today" day, but I just wanted to get this out there. That yes, Laura managed to have a party. She also realized that this house is not hers anymore...and the kids are okay with selling it.
And, for those of you who worry, another heartbreak and yet also triumph-I gave my dad Leonard's cellphone number today. His (my dad's) contract is up, and he was able to transfer his number to Leonard's SIM... it may sound silly and small, but it was big for me, who wants to change nothing. Leonard's number is gone, his contacts are gone, his phone...gone. Of course, his number is still where it will always be in my cellphone: AAALeonardICE. That is something I will never change, no matter how crazy some think I am.
As for the rest of it, what happened in the back yard, stays in the back yard, people.