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Is a raccoon the perfect party animal for graduation?

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Daughter No. 3 has five more days of high school before she graduates at the end of the month. So it appears there is this obligatory parental peer pressure to throw a graduation party for the third kid, even though we already threw two parties back in 2009 and 2010 when Phoebe’s older sisters graduated from high school. Kids!

Phoebe: “So Mom, I was thinking about the theme for my graduation party.”

Me: “Theme? Why do you need a theme? Isn’t the theme obvious — ‘Phoebe graduated.’”

Phoebe, with a look of angst: “I was thinking like a moving-out theme, like I’m getting ready to leave for Anderson University.”

Her eldest sister Aly chimed in (without being invited to the conversation, I might add!): “Phoebe, that’s a great idea. I can get some old suitcases and plant succulents in them for the outdoor garden decor!”

Phoebe: “Aly, that’s awesome.”

Oh so NOW they’re working together, I thought.

Me: “Hmpphhh,” I interjected, “How about a simple, yet understated ‘Phoebe graduated’ theme?” (Notice how I succinctly repeat my idea in case they missed it the first time?)

Ignoring the mother who brought them into this world, Aly and Phoebe excitedly chitchatted about the party plans, while I grew resigned to the idea that we were now having a themed graduation party.

Me: “Well I suppose your moving-out theme will work. I can pack all of your stuff into our suitcases and set them on the back porch.”

Once again they pretended not to hear my great suggestion, as they excitedly discussed using their Grandpa Jack’s college footlocker — the footlocker that Grandpa Jack used when he roomed with future astronaut Gus Grissom at Purdue.

They also didn’t hear me when I told them I’d make sure the dandelions are mowed down and we’d have plenty of saltines and water for our guests. All a party really needs is people, food and music.

“Phoebe, your graduation party will be fun,” I encouraged her, “and just like your gorgeous prom photos with your friends last weekend, I promise to make sure that there are no 25-pound dead raccoons lying about in the garden.”

But honestly, it did occur to me that it would be hilarious to prop up that discarded raccoon and put a small suitcase in his paw — in keeping with the graduation party’s moving-out theme.

Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.

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