Well, we survived. The last of the crew was just picked up. Everyone had a good time, everyone appeared to get at least some sleep, and there were no major injuries! One boy came out of the pool last night covered in blood and scared me to death, but it turned out that he'd just taken an accidental elbow to the nose and was fine after a few minutes. Thank God for chlorine.
Despite the chaos, I really enjoyed listening to the interactions that I overheard. These are all good kids. We're so fortunate that Thing One has good taste in friends...some of them are more boisterous than others, but all have parents who care enough to teach their kids manners and good behavior and how to be decent people. I was actually pretty worried about the one kid who went home last night with the stomachache...was really hoping that the other boys hadn't gone all Lord of the Flies on him, since he's one of the quieter boys. As soon as he told me he wasn't feeling well, I grabbed Thing One and asked if anyone was being unkind to this kid, and he looked at me like I had two heads and said no. The dad is a friend of mine, and when he came to pick his son up, I quietly pulled him aside in the driveway and asked him to please let me know what was going on when he got home, so I could bang heads like coconuts if need be. Nobody's getting bullied on my watch. Got a text shortly afterward: kid was having fun here but legitimately wasn't feeling well and wanted to go home before he puked because he would be really embarrassed if it happened at my house!! Ok, I can deal with that.
The remaining four rolled groggily upstairs at 8 or so this morning. Fed them pancakes, bacon and cinnamon rolls. Every one cleared his plate when he was done (without me saying a word!) and thanked me for breakfast. While I was cleaning up, they continued last night's Wii tournament in the adjacent family room. While they gave each other a lot of good-natured grief, none was mean-spirited, and there was a whole lot of belly laughing going on in there. Made me so happy to hear it.
Overall, a very successful night. Now, I just have to figure out how to clear the sleeping-boy funk from the basement!!