Ever since he rung in his four-year birthday with a baseball-themed party, Will has been plotting a football party for number five. I'd been secretly hoping he'd lose interest in the dream so we could move on from the sports themes, but he's as excited about it as ever, so here we are prepping to a host a very small football party at the end of the month.
What do you do at a football party? Play football of course, in our very small backyard with a bunch of young ball-hogs who don't understand the game and aren't really coordinated enough to play it together even if they did. But Will has built up this dream of his friends playing football together and sometimes I wish I could get inside his head to see just what this amazing dream of a football game looks like. One thing I know, in football as envisioned by Will, he is the head coach -- and a rude, bossy one at that.
As we were trying to sort out who to invite to the party this week, Will said "I can only invite slow people and fast people. I'll put the slow people in the audience and the fast people in the football game.... And I planned that no sick ones can come."
Then as he considered the drawbacks of inviting one friend who sometimes doesn't share as readily as others and might not take orders graciously, Will pronounced, "If he doesn't do what I say, I'll put him in the audience."
At which point we had a discussion about Will's grand vision for the football game and how in reality we'd all have more fun if everyone was just allowed to play as they wished, whether or not it was football. He agreed and is already modifying his game plan.
In any case, it's a rather murky plan for a party so I've decided to keep the invite list small. One of our keep-it-small strategies is to invite, by mail, only the boys from Will's preschool class along with just a couple other of his lifelong friends. Fortunately there are only five boys in his class including Will, and that's about all we can handle, especially since my back-up plan when everyone loses interest in the football game 30 seconds into the first quarter, is to send the boys in to put on their swim trunks while we break out the slip and slide.
It's all very sexist and horrible -- a football party for just boys -- but what's a harried mom to do?