298: Israel's Party
Israel has had a Halloween party (of some version) pretty much every year since he was about two-- we missed the year Lex was born since he arrived the day before he usually had the party, but we even had one the year Zoran was born a week and a half before. When Israel was really little it was just a few of my friends and their kids and we'd carve pumpkins. As he got older we did costume parties and a few times even did his birthday early and combined the two events. It got really big for a few years when he had younger siblings around and old enough to join in on the fun. A few years ago, once they were all big enough to invite friends, we had so many people they hardly all fit in the house and we had different games and things going on in all different rooms. By that point Israel was nearly a teenager and we were still doing all the little kid sort of harvest games and activities so he and his friends actually ran games for the younger ones. He's been kind of sad that his party got taken over by little people (or diminished in scale now that he has two younger brothers with birthdays right before Halloween) so he wanted to have a party this year just for his friends again.
Its sort of new territory for me, this teenage version of hanging out. Less work in a lot of ways, since mostly what they're interested in for a party at this point is just a lot of food and somewhere to hang out. It's a much different sort of supervision, too, than keeping a bunch of preschool and elementary kids safe and accounted for.
And although it was a high school party, I didn't send away the small siblings. They were actually pretty excited to be a part (sort of) of Israel's party. I think in some ways it was a bit more exciting for them than having a kid Halloween party. Israel's friends are all really nice to the younger kids, too. They didn't have to include them in what they were doing, but many of them did. Lex even wanted many of them to come back to his birthday party the next day.