- There will be head lice.
- At least one trip will be made to the hospital in the middle of the night.
- One of them, maybe all of them, will tell you with great conviction that you are the worst Mummy ever, right when you thought you might just be the best.
G and I sat with the four invitations in front of us and worked out a schedule. I made phone calls to mothers "is it okay if we arrive a little later - or would you prefer earlier? I just need to be on the other side of town at the same time". Presents were wrapped and vouchers we stuck to home made birthday cards with sticky tape. We gathered towels and bathers and packed special bags for swimming parties. Socks were remembered at the last minute for the bowling party "quick, shove these in your back pocket".
On our way to each destination the same tune was played on high rotation. The Beastie Boys. We had a few extra children in the car at different parts of the day, and each time the chorus provided the same anthem, the same head nodding, the same giggling.
"You gotta fight. For your right. To paaaaaaaaarty".
"Play it again Mum - Play it again".
Having left the house at 11 that morning, by 5pm when I walked through the door, I was a sweaty and disheveled mess. It was 46 degrees yesterday. G was in the kitchen, we were having friends over for dinner, I could hear the knife on the chopping board. Looking slightly sunburnt and a little weary he asked if I was going anywhere near a certain gourmet supermarket on my way to the next birthday party pick up. "Sure" I said without any enthusiasm. I knew it was going to be bumper to bumper along the road that I needed to get to. Parking was going to require the navigation and stealth of a formula one driver. G looked in my direction and said what he always says when I look like I've hit the wall "What happened to the party girl I married?"
I got back in the car. Back to the Beastie Boys.
It was somewhere around 1989 when we drove to Melbourne to see The Beastie Boys. I was picked up from the most monotonous boring job in the world bang on 5.30, so we could drive straight there. It was a 7 hour drive. At 1am we hit our first night club. Three night clubs later and it was six in the morning, we slept in the car for a few hours, had breakfast with friends, shopped in the afternoon and then it was off to the pub for a few drinks before the show.
The Beastie Boys were playing in a club, a friend was working there and he'd got us the tickets. We met him at a special entry point. It's really quite amazing how we did that in an era before mobile phones and texting isn't it? How we just managed to find each other. As my friend opened the door you could see a mass of bodies moving in time. The Beastie Boys had already taken the stage. I'd seen bands before, and been to much bigger venues, but there was nothing like The Beastie Boys live. They'd thrown punk and hip hop together and it worked. It was like discovering a new author with a different style, something you'd never heard. I jumped up and down for hours. Up and down. Everyone around me was doing the same thing. Up and down. No youtube, no internet, this was it. Other than the possibility of a random film clip in the middle of the night - this was it. They were boys from another land.
The first little traveler arrived home from her party at 9.30 that night. We'd served the starter and were just about to begin the main meal with our guests. As I put her to bed I told her I was jealous, "I'm so tired, I could just lie here next to you" she giggled and told me she could stay awake ALL night, she was WIDE awake.
Later that evening, after the guests left, the dishwasher had been packed and the party bags hidden up high - I read the news that Adam Yauch, founding member of The Beastie Boys was gone. I pictured the jeans, the cap, the up and down. I pictured the room that moved to the unpredictable, the energy and force of being young and inspired.
Where's that party girl?
You've gotta fight for your right to party - because it might all disappear before you know it. Every now and then we need a little reminder that we can't be tired. We need to get inspired, listen to something new, jump up and down, and be grateful for the chance to be busy.
"I Give Thanks For This World As A Place To Learn And For This Human Body That I'm Glad To Have Earned"
The Beastie Boys.