I am writing this with one eye open. I think. Because I’m not quite awake. At least I think I’m not quite awake. I’m too tired to figure out that part.
I have a weekend hangover, plain and simple. Make that a “chaperone an overnight bonding night for 21 high school boys soccer team” hangover. Yawnnn.
Yes, the coach had a great idea. “One of the dads has offered to let the boys stay at his beach house rental for a night of fun and bonding. I need some chaperones, and several people to provide the food.” Three emails later, no one had volunteered to chaperone. So I did. And I’m still alive. But tired. Very VERY tired.
We arrived at 3:00 Saturday afternoon. Most of the boys were already there and on the beach. I picked a room with my daughter and settled in for a long night. The boys were with the only other chaperone, a dad I had not met before. So Elizabeth and I took to the hot tub, changed and then enjoyed some fishing off of the dock. Ahhhh this is the life. But I knew better than to think this would continue throughout the night. And I was so right.
BEFORE the boys arrived:
During the early evening the boys had plenty to do. The hot tub, the pool, volleyball and soccer. Dinner was prepared by the owners while I watched their daughter and mine fish from the pier. (I’ve taught my daughter to fish better than most men. At eight years old she cuts the worms, baits the hook and reel’s ’em in like nobody’s business! I’ll teach her the Palomar knot when she is a little older.)
Here is one of the sunfish my daughter caught. He is now safely back to swimming in the Sandbridge waters:
Dinner was lovely. I enjoyed a bubbly adult beverage myself, lime included. After eating I picked up MORE trash (I swear it was mating and reproducing faster than I could pick it up. Did you know that a bag of Doritos and a bag of Fritos generates a bag of Cheetos?), did the dishes and started the “rounds” – going from room to room making sure everyone was AOK.
Long story short. An XBox only allows four at a time to play. That leaves 17 boys with nothing to do. There was a pool table and other TV’s, but that only kept some occupied for a while. By 2 a.m., I had the radio turned down enough for people to be able to hear others talk. But the TV was blaring, LOUD MALE VOICES were laughing and screaming, and it was pretty obvious that I was up for the night. Thank heavens there was another adult to help.
I left them to themselves as much as I could. But it seemed every 20 minutes I would hear some kind of crash and would have to investigate. Picture me entering the room and 42 sweet innocent eyes look right back at me. Noise? What noise? By 3 a.m. some were asleep, only to be tormented by the others. Toothpaste on hands and faces, water poured on beds…. All regular overnight stuff – BUT THIS WAS SOMEONE ELSE’S BEACH HOUSE AND I WAS IN CHARGE. Toothpaste and couches don’t mix. And water soaked mattresses will NOT dry out easily for the next renters. So I attempted to stop the big stuff as much as I could, while still allowing them to have fun and feel like I wasn’t hovering.
I remember going horizontal at about 4:30 a.m. and perhaps snoozing for about 15 minutes at a time. Bangs, laughter, pounding, feet on stairs… it kept me up with one eye open, “Just in Case.”
At 7:30 a.m. I made my appearance, same clothes, same makeup and squinting. I began picking up once again, doing laundry consisting of sadly unused sheets and about 25 soaking wet towels that had grown on couches, wooden tables and floors during the night. I would say I had two hours of broken sleep. I am too old for this.
My favorite part was seeing where everyone landed – IF they landed at all. The best? A boy was literally asleep on the dining room table, all wrapped up in his sleeping bag. Ah, to be young again.
A Java Monster kept me awake as I zombied through my Sunday. I managed to grocery shop, doing my best not to fall asleep at stop lights. I was even able to get uniforms together, pack lunches and cook dinner. But once I was on the bed, I was DONE. Honestly, the exhaustion didn’t hit until this morning, after about 7 hours of sleep. My body needs more. It is CRAVING more. But I have to work. So sleep will wait once again.
Has anyone out there ever chaperoned for an event? Was it a wonderful experience, or were there mishaps? I would love to hear other stories!