Things I Learned From Parents

I had a party recently, seemingly normal enough. People have parties. For us, though, it had, in the past, become like a game to top ourselves. We were known for having parties with bands and camping and even sweat lodges. After our wedding, we took a little hiatus for a couple of years while we focused on our careers....

So we knew if we were to make a come back, it was going to have to be a little different.

In those two years, a bunch of my friends and I grew up considerably. We got married. Some of them had babies (actually, a lot of them had babies), and well, that got us to thinking; if we excluded children from our party as we had done in the past, wouldn't that by extension exclude a lot of our friends? And what would be the reason for excluding children at this point in our lives? We aren't really all that crazy anymore, after all.

It was decided: a kid-friendly party it would be. I'm going to be honest, it worried me a little bit. I wasn't sure how some of my friends would react. I wasn't quite sure how I would react, for that matter. Best. Decision. Ever. Parents, as it turns out, are the most prepared people on the face of the planet. My parentified friends taught me a lot that weekend, and there are several reasons why parties I have will always include parents and their children:

1. They bring a ton of food! 
These people were packing. Hot dogs, catsup, mustard, steaks--someone brought crabs! I was in awe of the amount of food parents travel with, and I loved it. Best of all, me and my friends without kids could pitch in and help the parents cook when they needed to tend their babes. It was a thing of beauty!!!

2. They have fun beverages, in coolers, with ice! 
We don't buy soda. Or juice boxes. But you know who does? Parents. Parents do because their kids like it. And there is no shame in my game: Capri Sun is still an awesome drink!! Plus, parents are prepared with ice and coolers--something I always manage to forget.

3. When there are lots of children, you get your friends back. 
I love my friends kids, genuinely. They are great. But I like my friends more... we were friends before their kids were ever born, so I am partial to them, what can I say? Childless couples sometimes feel a little left out of the parent-loop, and we sometimes even feel like we can't get time with our friends because of their kids. I have found the anecdote: other kids.

Put a bunch of kids together in a party setting and you get to hang out with your friends because their children are completely occupied! Who knew?! It was awesome. I haven't seen some of my friends this relaxed since before they had children. And with so many people around, there was always someone to watch the kids!

4. They are prepared for things you didn't see coming. 
They know--have a sixth sense--about the needs of others. When I was like, "hey do we really need all this extra stuff?" They were like, "yes, we need another EZ Up, plus this table and the extra girl because you never know!" And how could I have known it was going to rain and we WOULD need all that stuff? And when it came time to move the set up near the garage because of said rain, they were ready with that, too. Because parents are like Jedis--they just know these things!

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