My brother, Rudy, turned six today. Unlike many people, Rudy
admired racoons. That’d led him to wanting a racoon birthday party.
assisted my mom in buying supplies, such as those racoon hats. The party stores
sold no racoon balloons, plates, or anything related to them. So we had bought
black and silver balloons and had placed racoon faces on them—printouts from
also wished for a pin-the-tail-on-the-racoon game. So my mom had made that on
We set up
the house. My mom had asked me to assist in the event, even though my friend, Alice,
had invited me to her pool party.
fourteen, that intrigued me more than a small child’s birthday bash with an
doorbell rang. Rudy’s friends showed up and put on the racoon hats. Then they
the little kids arrived, my mom said to me, “Esme, you’re in charge of the
are you doing?”
teaching you responsibility.”
recalling the poor grades I’d received in school that’d almost made me fail
friends played the games, Alice called me.
talk right now.”
away tomorrow and won’t be back for two weeks.”
already told you that I can’t make it.”
A boy fell
to go.” I hung up and rushed over to the kid. “What happened?”
tripped,” he sobbed.
I’ll get you a Band-Aid.” I hurried to the bathroom, only to run into my mom,
who walked out.
crying?” my mother asked.
Esme when this happened?” asked my mom.
the phone with her friend, Alice,” Rudy answered.
glared at me as I gave Rudy a dirty look.
told you to look after them,” my mother said.
But Alice was the one who called me.”
your phone.” My mom held her hand out.
I gave it
to her and dragged my feet into the room.
it back after the party.”
and gave Dylan the Band-Aid. “All right, who wants to play a game where you
don’t run around?”
come up with something.” I gasped. “How about arts and crafts?”
“Can it be
about racoons?” Rudy asked.
let your friends make whatever they want too.”
some paper, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, and googly eyes. Then I brought it
to the playroom.
we make?” asked Dylan.
you want,” I answered. “Just be careful with the scissors and don’t run with
them. No grabbing things from the other children, no coloring on anything other
than the paper, and clean up after you’re done.”
engaged in drawing, coloring, cutting, and pasting. They made rainbows, houses,
butterflies, and other cute creations.
tidied up, they showed my mom their crafts.
everyone,” she said. “Did Esme watch you?”
said that she did.
us,” said Rudy.
mother turned to me. “Thank you, Esme.”
in serving pizza, cake, and goodie bags. Then my mom returned the phone to me.
Alice had texted me.
pool had an issue. So we can’t swim today. Do u want to come in 2 weeks?
TY so much. See u then.
“Thank you for helping out today,
Esme,” my mom said.
“Thank you,” Rudy added.
“You’re welcome.” I grinned.