I am a genius.
No, not really, but I do have my very rare, few and far between moments of brilliance.
This Saturday was one of those.
My almost-twelve-year-old, Zoe, wanted a birthday party with the works. Sleepover. Movies. Pizza. Popcorn. “Yes, we can do that,” I said. But it was when she threw in the, “Oh, and wouldn’t it be fun if we could swim all night long?” that I encountered the problem. You see, we don’t have a pool (most people in Philly don’t), and, even if I did, I couldn’t imagine letting kids swim all night long in it. Face it, I wouldn’t sleep a wink (not that I thought I would, anyway, with a zillion tweens in my house).
But then I discovered the Slumber Party package at the Homewood Suites in Newark, Delaware, about 30 minutes from our house. It had everything Zoe wanted: a two bedroom, two bathroom suite with a living room and a full kitchen, two large pizzas, an in-room movie, a full breakfast – and, yes, a huge, indoor pool where the kids could swim (OK, not all night, but until 10:00 p.m., anyway). All for about what it would cost me to rent a party space or a bouncy castle for our backyard (which, being almost 12, Zoe would sneer at, anyway).
Now I had to sell the idea to Zoe. I started off hesitantly . . . “Honey, how about if we . . .?” “YES! Cool! You are the best mom in the world!” Alrighty then.
So, come Saturday, I loaded Zoe, her friends, their overnight bags, and a few grocery bags of chips, dip, soda, and cake mix (stay tuned for that part) into my minivan and hit the road. Oh, and speaking of hitting – this party was a hit from the second we left my house. Sixth grade girls? Critical? Mean? Not on Saturday, anyway – Zoe was the coolest sixth grader in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
When we got to our spacious suite (I’m telling you, this thing was almost as big as the first floor of my house), Zoe had only two requests: She wanted to get the cake baking in the suite’s kitchen (check) and she wanted me to go into the king bedroom and stay there. Check. I pulled out a good book, flipped on the TV, cracked open a Diet Coke, and . . . relaxed. Yep, I actually relaxed during a tween slumber party. The hotel arranged for the pizza to be delivered, the kids baked the cake (and ate it straight out of the pan), the girls escorted themselves about 100 yards down the hall to the indoor pool, and the movie streamed straight into our room. My only job? Well, actually, I didn’t have one.
On Sunday morning, I woke up to the sun streaming in through my windows. I was well-rested. The girls were, too, when I peeked in on them, spread out across the two queen beds in the other bedroom. Adding to my sense of well-being? The pizza boxes and cake crumbs were everywhere, and I didn’t have to clean them up. The girls were starving for breakfast, and I didn’t have to cook it. Zoe was as happy as I’ve ever seen her, and all I had to do was make a reservation.
In the van on the way home, I eavesdropped. Face it, that’s what moms of tween girls do. But this time, the topic wasn’t the cute sixth grade boys or the mean homeroom teacher. Nope, this time, the only topic was, “Zoe, do you think you can get your mom to let you have another party at Homewood Suites?”
PhillyMama thanks the Homewood Suites in Newark, Delaware, from the bottom of her heart for arranging and sponsoring this event and for making her (at least for one night) the coolest mom in Philadelphia.