Backyard Party

Picture little girls on swings and in young women’s arms. Picture a nearly ninth grader playing a Frisbee game with twentysomethings. Picture two third grade boys certain young adults dancing with beer bottles in hand are drunk and taking great delight in discovery of this most certainly illicit nighttime event. Picture a lovely man being feted for his thirtieth birthday by friends and his family. Picture a barn suddenly fit for a party.

If there’s one thing I love about our house and yard, so good for celebration; if there’s one thing I love about our life here it’s how seamlessly intergenerational it so often is.

I know I feel it in micro-fashion when I listen to people talk about how hard it is when their toddler or preschooler is stubborn. I want to say: You ain’t seen nothing yet. The truth is wherever you are, you are—even if, like us, it’s hairbrush strikes and homework strikes plus a few more twists of adolescent will—and you have to put your energies right there (and there and there). I like the sensation of parenting across a spectrum because I am constantly reminded this moment is just this moment—and more moments have passed and more will come and I can’t always determine everything—or anything much.

And I like the sensation of a household that includes younger adults for the same reason; I’m reminded life is more than the children I’m so preoccupied with being raised. They will launch into their own intense friendships, their loves, their quest for satisfying work and art and kitchen and community.


Oh, and somewhere in there, I went off with my friend Jennifer to get a pedicure. This is kind of a big deal event in my world. I haven’t had many pedicures in my day; I’ve never gone to get one with a friend and I’ve never before worn nail polish on my toes (or fingernails for that matter). My toenails got painted purple. This purple polish may be a game changer.

Saskia got her fingernails to be the same color in solidarity—or jealousy, not sure. The funniest part is that I chose purple so my toenails could be like her purple, sparkly, shiny toenails.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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