After I extended the dinner invitation, I was immediately filled with dread, anxiety and fear. It wasn’t that I was worried about the menu (everyone was bringing something), nor was I worried about how clean the house would actually be when the guests finally did walk through the door.. because I knew I would clean the house — but would I be able to time it so that the peak, sparkling moments after I clean would be the ones the guests would see? Because, typically, when I’m cleaning, no matter what floor I start on, by the time I get done, the floor I started on has already been tainted – and sometimes destroyed.
It wasn’t the cleaning… because I know, that once your guests fill the space, and IF the guests have kids of their own, they get the messy house thing, and nobody cares.
I was more worried about what I would have to “drop” to get ready for this dinner. Who wouldn’t I be able to listen to that night? You know, because I was running the sweeper one extra time, or running out to the store to get appetizers. What would I miss if I took my eyes, for one second, off of what was happening here. I’ve already over-extended my quota of “taking my eyes of things” when I went to New York… and I’m still playing catch-up.
Why are we so much busier now — and why is having a dinner party such a big deal? When the boys were little, I somehow managed to have a dinner party at least once a month. Aren’t our kids are bigger now, and they can take care of themselves. It’s not like when they were little, and we had to walk behind them constantly and tried to make sure there weren’t poisoning themselves or electrocuting themselves? That was busy… and yet, here we are, all of us, with these independent children, and unable to get a spare minute for ourselves.
Instead, we are constantly juggling… and juggling takes a lot of concentration and mental exertion to keep all the boys flying and not dropping.
I think we had a “need” back then to have dinner parties and find out what was happening, and learning from other families. Now, that need has been replaced with a need to find out what’s going on with our kids, their friends, as we watch their lives unfold. We are invested in THEIR friends… knowing that building allies with their friends is one of the strongest ways we can stay in the loop of our teenager’s lives.
And this is all, quite Exhausting…
So, I called everyone back, and said, why don’t we just all meet out at our favorite restaurant instead.
Instant stress reliever.