"You mean we get to go to an afterparty??" (Petunia)
"There's another party after this one??" (Thing Two)
Yesterday, my kids all went to an outdoor taekwondo camp from 1-5PM. When we arrived to pick them up, all three were disgusting sweatballs and completely wiped out, but they'd had a grand old time. After quick showers, they were revived enough to attend the gathering afterward, the martial arts group's summer pizza party/get-together held under a big tent next to the field where the camp had been held. One of the high-school aged black belts is the lead singer of a cover band, and his group played the event, very well as it happened. It was BYOB, and much fun was had by all.
Much of my regular social interaction is with the other ladies from these classes, so I spent most of the party hanging out with my girlfriends. The kids ate their pizza and then went back out to run around with their buddies (why did I bother to give them showers again??) Fortunately for Himself, he gets along very well with the husband of one of my classmates who was also attending, so the two of them were drinking beer (and doubtless causing trouble) together off to one side. Come about 8:30, the party was starting to wind down, but this pair of mutual friends invited our family back to their house (see quotations above for the reactions of two of my kids to this news!) These friends have girls the same ages as my boys, and all the kids get along well.
Under normal circumstances, we'd have said no, figuring the kids would be fried. But we figured we'd try it and see how they did, let them stretch a little. As soon as we arrived, all five kids disappeared into the basement to play Wii and that was that. A few bottles of wine and some good conversation around the kitchen table later, we looked at the clock, realized that it said 11:45 (!) and dragged three very tired kids home!
All three are a bit out of it this morning, but it was worth it. Everyone had fun, and we are making a conscious effort to get the kids out of their rut and let them do some different things...staying up till midnight on one summer night won't kill them. And I bet they'll sleep well tonight!