Saturday both our nannies graduated from college (Brown-hair Miss N and Red-hair Miss N). Obviously, this was a bittersweet day for us. We are so incredibly proud of both of them (One makes amazing pottery and paintings and the other is a very talented French horn player. And this is on top of their academics and the heroic job they do here of keeping all four kids from killing each other while I am at work.) On the other hand graduation means one of them is moving to the west coast and the other is going to be leaving us for a job at the end of the summer. This is the part I try not to think about too much because these two people have become part of our family over the last three or four years and we will miss them. The KIDS will miss them even more, judging by the way Charley wouldn't even look at one of them as she walked out of our house for the last time on Tuesday of last week.
Instead of dwelling on the inevitable we decided to take them both out for a grownup dinner Friday night at a restaurant we've been wanting to try. The kids went to the Y kids' night out because WHO DO YOU ASK TO BABYSIT WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR BABYSITTERS OUT FOR DINNER? OMG you guys, SO MUCH FUN. A bottle of wine, some guacamole, lots of delicious food. Two solid hours of laughter and sweet stories about the kids, some of which I've never heard. Reminiscing about college. Talking about future plans. Ryan and I reluctantly peeled out of the parking lot with about five minutes to spare before the Y would start charging us a dollar a minute to get the kids back. The next time I saw them was at graduation. So exciting.
And then we went to one of their family graduation celebrations, which was at the house of Red-hair Miss N's aunt, who we met for the first time at the party. We politely brought an assortment of spring-themed cookies for the table and coerced the children to make eye contact and say hello, but the politeness ended there. The first thing I noticed was the hot tub on the back porch. *I* wasn't actually the first one to notice it, the kids were. NOBODY TOUCH THE POOL I warned as soon as we got to the house. But sure enough everyone had to take a swipe at the water as they passed it on the way to the basketball goal. They played basketball for a while. And then they ate dinner. And then they stood around looking angelic and fidgety next to the hot tub and soon, at the hosts' encouragement, SPLASH. Everyone was in the hot tub. In various states of undress.
Wes was wearing a pair of boxer briefs. Charley was sensibly commando in his gym shorts so he could wear his dry undies home and James started out in his undies but took them off and threw them onto the porch after a prolonged period of complaining that "My undies are wet."
Five minutes later Wes had to poop. I carried him, dripping and naked, through the breakfast nook and into the powder room off the kitchen much to the delight of the teenagers assembled around the kitchen table. James was clearly drinking the pool water judging by the fifteen minute intervals between trips to the bushes to relieve himself.
They played for hours, stopping only to eat cookies and rehydrate from the stash of bottled waters conveniently placed next to the hot tub. Then I realized with horror that it was nine PM and the spell was almost certainly about to be broken if we didn't get out of there in a fast hurry. To my surprise, there were no theatrics, no drama, and no screaming. The only mishap was when we couldn't find Charley for a few minutes only to discover him on the back porch, not wanting to come in and drip on the wood floor. IT WAS SO WEIRD YOU GUYS.
Mary had a blast too, only permitting Miss N hold her the entire time we were there, until finally I brought out a bottle and she consented to let Miss N's loving grandmother hold her for the duration. She also enjoyed the fruit and dip platter. She's a party animal.
I wondered aloud to Ryan that maybe what the kids are missing out on is FUN. Maybe they would be this delightful all the time if we allowed them to have fun. I think it's worth considering.