"Hi, random neighbor downstairs. Would you like to come over and share some of our latkes right now? Oh, you're not as spontaneous as my kid? Oh well."
"Hi, random neighbor..."
For the second night of Chanukah, Ryan and I made some latkes. Latkes are best when they're fresh out of the pan, so I rang my friend Peggy's doorbell and invited her to come down the hall and have some with us.
One grown-up guest was clearly insufficient for Ryan. My pleasant conversation with Peggy was interrupted by several cries of "We've got to FIND everybody!"
"Do you mean you want to invite more people over for potato pancakes?" I asked.
"Who should we invite?"
"We got to find EVERYbody!"
When Ryan started walking up and down the hall, still wearing his blue Chef in Training apron, calling "EVERYbody, where ARE you?" I realized I had to get involved.
We started walking the building.
Our next door neighbors weren't home. The kid at the end of the hall wasn't home. Ryan's buddy Jason wasn't home. Alison was home, but confessed she doesn't like latkes. More rejections. Things were looking dicey.
We eventually found a willing and available guest: 22-month-old Aiden and his mother. After they had eaten enough latkes and applesauce, Ryan asked little Aiden, "Can I play with you?"
I found some toddler-safe toys, and the boys ran around and shared pretty well and were having a wonderful time.
At some point Ryan bumped into Aiden and scared him, and the poor little kid started crying. I pointed out to Ryan that he had scared the baby. Ryan became visibly concerned. He said to me, "Got to make him happy!" Then he turned to Aiden and said, "Got to make you happy!" He immediately got to work covering Aiden in kisses.
No surprise, I got a little teary.
When it was time for our guests to leave, Ryan said appropriate goodbyes and did not get upset. He was delighted with the party he had just thrown.
Hands-down, this was the best spontaneous 15-minute Chanukah party I've ever had.