Ringing in the New Year with Compromise and Car Keys

My family, including our five sons ranging in age from 17 to 7, approached the New Year mulling over 3 different party invitations. The first was from dear friends, living down the street, to their annual neighborhood bash. The second was from another set of old friends whose daughter, the same age as our oldest, was hosting a soiree in the next town over. The third was from a friend of our 16 year old, also in the next town over, with whom we were not acquainted.

While my husband and I, along with our three youngest had every intention of trekking down the block to our neighbor’s party, our older two bristled at the idea. They are too old to be hanging with the other “little kids” from the ‘hood and too young to be mingling with the adults.

Allowing our oldest to attend his party was a relatively easy decision. Knowing most of his friends and their families since they were in kindergarten, we didn’t hesitate to grant our permission. It was our 16 year old that was giving us pause.

What to do?

The clock was ticking.

My husband began the negotiations with “You can only go if your older brother goes with you.”

In unison, both boys responded, “No way!”

Nearly an hour later, they agreed to our terms, including an 11pm curfew and stopping by the neighbor’s party on their return. With that, they headed out the door and I held my breath.

I didn’t have to hold it long.

As the clock struck 10 in my neighbor’s hors d’oeuvre-filled kitchen, they strode through the door, declaring each of their party’s a bust and happily accepted an invitation to join the others playing video games in the basement.

It’s going to be a good year…


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