Imagine having 50 to 60 people over for a backyard barbeque. That's what the Musing Family did yesterday. Actually, that's what we do every year on Memorial Day. And it's always a blast. But it's a ton of work getting ready and I often think to myself about two hours into the preparations, "why do we do this?". Then when the party starts and I'm having so much fun I remember why.
This year two hours into the preparations I wasn't pondering that question. Instead I was thinking about how much easier it's getting. In two hours we were nearly done with our top to bottom deep-cleaning on the house that included all the bedrooms, main floor, and even basement (yes, even for an outdoor barbeque because in past years we've been rained in). It was thrilling to see how much all five of us could do if we worked together. Sure, we were still putting the finishing touches on when guests started arriving, but that's only because Musing Dad had us filling 200 water balloons (he'd bought 400! Go ahead, ask him what he was thinking!). I think we only got about 50 done before my fingers were totally purple and threatening to fall off. Thankfully Llama Papa and some other nice dads pitched in to help Musing Dad finish (and then they pitched in later to help put those balloons to use).
I was pleased with how the party turned out. Everyone seemed to have fun, the gazillion kids (they multiply every year) played incredibly well together, the food was relatively plentiful and it didn't rain. But more than all those things, what pleased me about it was how it was totally our family's party. All five of us cleaned the house, all five of us worked at setting up the screen room in the yard (although I admit it's been amusing in the past to watch Musing Dad struggle with it on his own), all five of us put out tables and chairs and lawn games, together we filled coolers with drinks and ice and Musing Dad and his three girls set up the volleyball net. A sometimes gargantuan task is shrinking every year because of teamwork.
So, will we host a mega-barbeque again next year? You bet! And the year after that and...maybe one year not too far off Musing Dad and I will be able to flop our tired bodies into bed while the girls clean up. (I can hope, can't I?).