I think I am getting soft in my parenting "old age". Ask any of my three older sons how I feel about the beloved teenage prank of "toilet papering" and they will tell you that I hate it. Throughout their high school years I wouldn't give them permission to subject any of our friends with their "gift" of TP'ing. Mostly, I think, because it's destructive and messy and NO fun for the parents on the receiving end of the prank. And let's be honest, it's the parents who, for the most part, end up picking up the mess. The funny thing is that I usually don't get upset when our house gets TP'ed. 1. Because we don't have any big trees so it's pretty easy to clean up. 2. I make the boys do it.
So last night Isaac returned home from a birthday party where apparently 750 kids where in attendance (or 25 - I always get those two numbers mixed up) with two of his friends who were to spend the night. Sleep was certainly the last thing on their minds and they told me they had to defend their honor and our property by a preemptive strike on this house where all the girls were continuing the party by having a sleep over. I have no idea what was wrong with me but I simply said, "yes". The lack of massive interrogation tactics such as: "Where are you going?" "Who will be there?" "How long will you stay?" "What are you plans?" "Do you have a back up plan?" "IS that what you're going to wear?" prompted one of Isaac's friends to label me "the coolest mom ever" (which, honestly, is probably what prompted this blog - I really wanted to write that down...) He explained that his mom would be freaking out (which I don't really believe).
So off they went leaving only my 22 year old son, Andrew, to watch the fort. "Where was I?", you ask. I was going to bed - it was nearly midnight. Again - "cool mom" or "irresponsible mom" - you choose.
At 1:30 AM. I repeat, 1:30 AM I heard the sound of girls screaming - not like, "Help, help" screaming. More like, "This is the funnest thing that I ever done in my life at 1:30 in the morning" screaming. Our little dogs joined in the fray, howling to their hearts content. I am pretty sure that NONE of our neighbors were enjoying this adventure at all. Apparently, as the 20 or so girls (most of them named Haley or some derivative) quietly approached our house to do their worst, Andrew opened up with a Super Soaker and then, realizing the desperate odds, got out the garden hose, prepared to defend his "castle" to the death. Or at least until he scared the girls away. It apparently worked - hence the screaming - and happily the enemy scattered to the four winds.
Meanwhile, aided by the dad from the house all these girls were going to stay, Isaac and his friends were hiding in their house, waiting until they returned to scare them out of their wits.
This is of course, an incredibly condensed version of the all-night long adventure. By the time the boys were finally stretched out asleep on our living room floor at was after 3:00 AM. They didn't stir until about 11:00 the next morning.
Now, you might be thinking, why write about such a silly thing? Boys will be boys and girls will be girls and that is exactly my point! I know what can happen when boys and girls gather late at night. Usually its bad. Or it can be. Drugs and alcohol find their way into kids' hands, things get out of control. But here were something like 25 kids having a marvelous, innocent time. Everyone of these kids were involved in CAT and while, I don't take credit for their behavior, I do think it's telling that they all wanted to be together and the worst they could do was toilet paper someone's house, (Aided and abetted by the host mom). It's glorious to have an organization where the kids can grow up together, trust each other, and develop life-long friendships. I know these kids are going to be talking about this night for months to come. It will be one of the memories that will always come up when the have their reunions and gatherings. Its one of the fantastic "by products" of an organization that seeks to lift kids up. WOW! It's a good thing I said "yes"...