It was my youngest son’s 13th birthday. Having two older siblings the hype created on him becoming a teenager was evident. The upcoming party had been in planning mode for weeks. The older fellows were in charge. I picked up titbits from their conversations that I overheard in the passing and I must admit I had my reservations. I was developing an impression that the party was going to be a rowdy, noisy and a messy affair.
The birthday falling bang in the middle of football season had given them a reason to have a theme party which revolved around football/friends /food. As the ideas flowed and were exchanged I was very politely told that I was not part of the organizing committee but a very special guest. They collectively decided that they were going to TAILGATE. All my objections were drowned under when my oldest son chided me and said, when was the last time you did something for the first time? That put to rest all my ifs and buts and I decided to go with the flow of the celebrations.
This birthday celebration gave me an insight into the resourcefulness of the youngsters. They had hired two Chevrolet pickup trucks and parked it in the backyard. Organized a massive projector screen to stream the football match live and placed these humongous speakers at the opposite ends of our backyard blaring some of the latest top of the charts. A few balloons and streamers with birthday messages added color to the ambience as they fluttered in the breeze. My eldest son who is passionate about cooking in general and barbecuing in particular had all the food organized. The Menu was well planned and balanced keeping in mind the new teenagers who made up the majority of the invitees. Mini beef sandwiches and roasted jalapeno poppers were the biggest hits. The themed football cupcakes and Touch down cookies were the desserts that would be soon polished off.
The indulgent brothers went to the extent of using a Branding Iron and created personalized burgers for all the guests. My burger said TACKLE MOM. Seeing the older two bonding so beautifully with their younger sibling, indulging him and giving in to some very ridiculous demands had my chest swell with pride. This tailgating event panned out to be fun and frolic for family and friends and not rowdy, noisy and messy as I had previously envisaged. This first-time activity for me made me realize how tailgating had enriched our family together experiences. Tailgating has now become one of our favorite activities. We call it our Funday Sunday.