A couple weeks ago, Matty’s teacher emailed Seth and I saying one of his friends’ parents had requested she pass along their email addresses so we could set up a play date. At first I thought, ‘Awe! Matty has a real friend!’ but as soon as the cuteness wore off, the questions and awkwardness of my life set in.
Matty has talked about his friend, let’s call him Dragon Fire, quite a bit over the last few months so it wasn’t a HUGE surprise that his parents wanted to set something up. If anything, it was a bit a relief that Dragon Fire liked Matty as much as Matty seemed to like him. Though, with that being said, I’d be lying if I told you I had any desire or had ever entertained — even in the slightest — the idea of the boys growing a school friendship outside of school so soon.
I know that sounds terrible but Seth and I are a little atypical in comparison to the most of the parents at the boys’ school (or so it’s always seemed). Being one of the best preschools in the city, there are a fair amount well-to-do, prominent and put together people who send their kids to the boys’ school. And if you know anything about us, you know we’re more into the childcare-poor, food- and crayola-stained t-shirts, haven’t washed my hair in three days, fairly free with our expletives, here to make others feel important kind of crowd. So, yeah, the idea of arranging play dates with the other parents from school is a little sweat-inducing, to say the least.
Every time Seth and I discussed the email, I started to question everything. Like, what exactly is a play date? What do the parents do while the kids play? Where do people have them – a park? One of our homes?! How long do they usually last? What do I wear? It would become so ridiculously overwhelming (emphasis on ridiculous) that we’d usually just agree to come back to the topic at another time. Then, last week, as we prepared to send invites for Matty’s birthday party, we considered sending Dragon Fire’s parents an invite via email.
In theory, tt seemed like a wonderful idea. In reality, it seemed questionable, at best. We went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons. Will they enjoy themselves? Will they think it’s weird that we live in an apartment? Will they think it’s weird that there’s beer at a kid’s birthday party? Will they think it’s weird that there are more adults than kids? Will they think less of Matty because of any of the above? What if our idea of fun is not their idea of fun? What if they hate every second of being here?
It didn’t take long for us to determine Matty’s birthday party might not be the best idea for a first ‘play date’ — but then Marty got involved.
“Mom, are all of my friends going to be at my birthday party?”
He started naming names. “…and Dragon Fire?!?!”
“I don’t know if Dragon Fire will be there, bud.”
“Well, I want Dragon Fire to come to my party! Please, Mom?”
Immediately, it dawned on me how absurd I was being. This was Matty’s party, not mine.
So, as I sat down the other night to craft an email response that was both kind and professional, laid back and warm, I pulled up Matty’s birthday party invitation and realized not even a well-put together email could cover up who we really were.
“You think I should send the invite or just an email with the details?”
“Well, the invite isn’t exactly the most appropriate invite.”
“Well, I hope they’re not super religious or proper because it basically says, ‘if you ain’t four, you ain’t shit’.”
We both laughed.
“Well, that’s who we are. Send it.”
He was right. That’s who we are. Our kids don’t care about the stupid shit we do and they shouldn’t –honestly, we shouldn’t either. We live in a home full of love, we have a lot of fun and we have no idea what we’re doing 79% of the time.
I sent the invite and possibly offended (or impressed?) two people I don’t even know but you know what they say: que sera sera. What will be, will fucking be and if you ain’t four you ain’t sh-ark?