Madeline is good at doing so many things, and likes to do so many things, that Rob and I are really puzzled by the few things she doesn't want to do. One of those is calling people up and inviting them to do things. Another is having a party. We don't get this (heck, we threw ourselves our own 90th birthday party this year). Since Maddie is turning 16 this year, Rob decided that she was getting a party. He approached our neighbors, who have this magnificent pool park, and asked if we could hold her party there. They generously agreed.
Here's a little view of one side of the pool. It has a slide (which I got no pictures of!), a high dive, a hot tub, cabanas, and a full kitchen and sound system and lots of seating for those who just want to lounge by the pool and not get in.
They have it all decorated with palms and bamboo, so all I did was gather and arrange the food: pulled pork sandwiches with potato salad, coleslaw, chips, watermelon, corn, lemonade and birthday cake. It was perfect weather for a pool party -- in the 90's, and so it was nice to have some shade too.
Maddie's friends come from lots of different areas of her life, and they don't all know each other. It was gratifying to see how supportive of her they were to come to the party, and how well they got along.
Rob and Curtis were some of the first to have a go at the high dive.
Then a girls' jump: Abby, Taylor, Abby, Deanna, and Maddie.
Then it was in pretty constant use: here are Tomas, Sebi, Will and Joss taking a leap off.
And Adam and Joss.
Another great thing about this party is that we got to have one too, at the same time. Maddie Lou actually felt better about having some family friends around, so we had many adults and several little kids splashing around too.
And some of them even got to know each other for the first time.
The kids all seemed to have something to do at every minute.
Joss even got to play with his cousin Adam. They are both strong enough swimmers that they could go everywhere and do everything.
And they did.
Charlotte, Malcolm, and Declan.
Will and Eleanor even learned how to do flips.
I took a break from food prep and first aid to dip in the pool. A pool is a sublime thing on a hot day. I'd take a swim every day if I could!
At some point we did eat . . .
But there was a whole lot of swimming going on too.
Abby, Hadley, and Molly.
A whole crowd tried an Ethel Merman-style entrance.
We had to change the date of the party because Maddie will be up at girls' camp on her actual 16th birthday. Then we had to change the time because they were holding a camp meeting at the time of her birthday party. We were flexible and it all turned out fine.
And we tried unsuccessfully to get the candles lit. We sang to Maddie Lou even though it looked like she was turning three.
It was a lovely, lovely time, and we're indebted to our neighbors who let us use the pool, and all of our friends who came and helped us.