My favorite party and why

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14424821_10155290920719616_8686235954545296244_o.jpgLast Sunday was Bike the Ridge, an event in Evanston that's a small scale version of Chicago's Bike the Drive, wherein historic Ridge Avenue is shut down for a morning so people can ride their bikes on it. I am not that big of a bike riding person (hot take!!) so I wasn't that interested in it until I stumbled upon it a few years ago returning from a 5K and realized what a lovely, laid back, community-oriented event it is--right outside my window. So I decided that I would set up a little watching/pit stop station.

This year was my second year doing it and I've decided it's my favorite holiday/party. Here's why:

  • Ridge is quiet. I don't think of myself as a super-paranoid mom. However I am not wild about how busy Ridge can be and I worry about the boys evetually running/biking around on it some day on their own. Some days when you walk home there is a pause in the traffic and it's like a 15-second vacation. So it's great to have a few hours dedicated to the no-car noise.
    • A taco truck did park next to us this year which was not my favorite thing ever but I am really realizing lately how non-problems my problems are so I will not hold it against the taco truck. 

  • I don't have to clean up. Because while I am hosting a little party in my house, it is not actually in my house. When the whole thing is done I just pack up my gear on the kids' wagon and roll it into the back yard. 

  • I don't have to stress about feeding everyone. Because I can't. People come by and get drinks and donuts and when I'm out, I'm out. Middle school boys ransacked my donut inventory this year and I was out less than halfway through Bike the Ridge. I'm glad they had fun, but when I ran out, oh well. I'm not the store! 

  • I'm not hosting anyone's kid. To be clear if I invite you and your kid over to my house, I am your servant. I will run and grab your kid ice water or a dry pair of pants or an ice pack, happily. But when I'm parked outside my house in a picnic chair in Bike the Ridge mode, I'm not watching or taking care of anyone's kids. (Including my own.) Your kid can play on the swingset in the back but I'm not going to make sure he's not going to break his neck. You can take your kid to the bathroom but I am not wiping her butt. You may NOT let your kid go into the basement. It's fun being an unbashedly mean mom and ungracious host.

  • Bike the Ridge is truly a community experience. The last two years I spoke with people from town who just strolled up to see what I was doing (I put out some donuts and beverages for adults and kids.) We end up having a little chat and get to know each other -- people who might not interact otherwise. 
    • We need more of this these days, don't you think? 

  • A caffeinated buzz: Bike the Ridge is a wonderful opportunity for me to drink both mimosas and coffee, my most favorite of my stomach-destroying morning beverages, outside, in tandem.