“Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12- years-old. They patronize and they treat children as inferiors. Well, I won’t do that…” -Walt Disney
Tonight was the end-of-the-year party for my 14-year-old son and his friends, both boys and girls. It was the only party I have ever given him that wasn’t just his buddies and he trusted me enough to help him plan it. It started with an amazing magic act. Hart Keene is good enough for a Las Vegas act, making the impossible true.
This is the wonder of childhood: make believe that is more real than real life. Thirty middle schoolers were un-plugged, fully engaged and present. The magician did an old Houdini trick of swallowing needles and thread and pulling them back out of his throat threaded… And if that amazement wasn’t enough, he then uncovered a missing $20 dollar bill inside an uncut kiwi. These were unforgettable, magical moments of childhood.
As darkness fell, the fire pit blazed and the marshmallows toasted. Summer nights with s’mores, hot dogs roasting on sticks and sparklers all around. The night was lit up with laughter, color and friendship. These were the parties that I dreamed of as a child but never attended. I never had the facility for friendship that my children have mastered and I never had a mother who would plan a magical night for me like this one.
My old show lights lit up the basketball court, my older son’s sub woofers blasting out of the open doors as the full moon shone bright over the basketball court turned dance club.
Fully initiated into a future they can’t quite imagine as they make the leap to high school, the party was more than a success. It was the beginning of a collective memory that these kids will use as time post on the way to bigger and better things.
I don’t care if I am living vicariously a little in life. These golden moments where I can construct a perfect vision of growing up happens a little inside me too. I get to do it again just the way I would have imagined it so many years ago. The little girl in me is happy, happy for the laughter of now and for being here now.