1) It really is possible, after having attended too many parties to count at Eileen’s house, that I will still meet several new people at a party there. Whose names I will not remember.
2) At least one of those people will have a very difficult time concealing their surprise at my single mother status. (While not a Stepford community, this town is not exactly a haven for the non-rich or divorced, and the non-rich divorced are an even larger anomaly.)
3) Small children will happily play in a kiddie pool even if it’s only 68 degrees outside.
4) Adults will watch those children from the safety of the screen porch and talk about how old they must be for thinking those kids are nuts.
5) Somewhat larger children will turn said pool into a battle station and splash/scare away the smaller ones while filling up their super soakers.
6) My son will trail any pack of larger boys no matter what they’re doing or how hard they try to shake him.
7) My daughter manages to roll with the ups and downs of a big social gathering better than I expect, but draws the line at being shot full in the face with a super soaker.
8) I can stop a 10-year-old boy in his tracks and wither him with the Displeased Mama Death Stare when I explain that not only should no one be getting shot in the face, but that goes double for little girls half your size.
9) 10-year-old boys who use phrases like “on accident” (got him some good learnin’, he did) will nonetheless deliver eloquent apologies when afraid that the Strange Crazy Lady might be about to beat the snot out of them.
10) If my son gives Eileen a big hug and a special thank-you for “those yummy brownies you made me” and she’s had a few beers, she will insist he have another one.
11) A four-year-old on a sugar high will nonetheless go right to sleep after an afternoon of chasing the big boys.
12) No matter how fabulous the day, my daughter will insist on one last squeezy hug after being tucked in, and during said hug will ask (again) how many more days until I have to go to the hospital.
13) It is possible to be utterly exhausted from an afternoon of doing not much more than eating and checking on the children’s whereabouts every so often.