The first party I was ever invited to was held at the local skating rink in honor of Kevin Bowen’s sixth birthday. Kevin and I were pretty good friends—our desks were side by side in Mrs. Washington’s first grade class. Proximity in the classroom more than made up for the distance between us in other areas. Kevin’s parents were country clubbers, the sort of people who hired other people to cut their grass and then watched them while sipping martinis from the veranda. My parents? Not country clubbers. At all.
That first party was quite the experience. The invitation said “Sunday attire requested” at the bottom, just beneath big red letters that spelled out FUN! Mom explained to me that meant I had to look like I was going to church. I couldn’t quite understand how anyone could have FUN! at a party while being dressed for preaching, but I didn’t care. This was Kevin. My buddy. And it was a party.
It was also good one, as it turned out. Kevin’s mom was as prim and proper as I’d expected, but she was also nice enough to loosen the reins of adult supervision enough to allow us kids to have as much fun as we could. We laughed and played and told stories. There were gifts and prizes. We were all exhausted by the time it was all finished, but it was the sort of exhausted that leaves you feeling good.
I’ve been to a lot of parties since, but my first was by far the best. Not just because we were all kids, but because we were all just as much different as alike. There were black kids like Ronnie Somerset and white kids like me. There were rich kids like Kevin and poor kids like most everyone else. Healthy kids like Michael Davis, who skated for three hours straight without stopping, and sick kids like Jamie Heatwole, who laughed more than anyone though confined to a wheelchair.
None of that mattered. That’s what made it so good. It didn’t matter what we had or didn’t, we were together. Joined for a few short hours with no other goal in mind than to celebrate and smile.
That’s the way to throw a party.
In that regard, I’d like you to consider this an invitation. Monday marks the official publication date for Snow Day, and the good folks at FaithWords have been kind enough to offer to host an online party for the occasion. Feel free to join us on Twitter and on my new Facebook page, and be sure to stop back by here Monday morning for a very special post. If you’d like to sample the first couple of chapters, just click on the Snow Day cover in the sidebar.
It’s entirely appropriate that you should all be invited. I have readers who’ve been visiting my virtual front porch since the beginning. Many came along shortly thereafter. Many more just recently. Regardless of when or how our paths crossed, I can say from the bottom of my heart that none of this would be possible without you. Your comments and emails and constant encouragement have been sweet water that saw me through more arid deserts than you know. It’s because of you that Monday will be a lot more than just the start of a new workweek.
Like Kevin’s mom, I promise FUN! Unlike her, Sunday clothes are not required.
As always, I say come as you are.
Faith Words will kick off the party at 9:00 a.m., CST