One of the hottest topics you can tick off the resume these days. And no bigger example, surely, than throwing a 16th birthday party in your backyard.
To be successful in this role, you need to display high-level interpersonal skills, engage internal and external stakeholders balancing complicated logistical matters to tight, often competing, deadlines.
Mainly about party themes and what you're going to wear.
So many physical, mental and fashion challenges to overcome. When, where, how many - should we hire Tasers?
As a parent, you can't not make a fuss on such a milestone. Well, you can.
All those headlines about mayhem, injury and embarrassment. And that's just the parents debating whether it's a good idea or not. But since when did parents become the authority on common sense? They became parents, for heaven's sake.
Kids just need to know you care. And nothing says that more than inviting a tribe of their mates around to run amok for a couple of hours.
The mission brief is simple: corral young people. The truth is they are basically pretty marvellous, in theory. It's the practice where due diligence is required.
Whether or not you can rise to the cleaning and catering challenges, not to mention the diplomatic line on the night when you ride the lightning between dorky parent and bona fide member of the fun police.
The recipe is time-honoured: provide a place, provide some music, feed the beast and it will roar. Hopefully not too loud.
There is always the worry about substance abuse.
But surely, as adults, we can abstain from the red wine for one night.
Lord knows you're pretty light-headed from getting the house in order in the 24 hours leading up. Exhaustion does that to you.
Etiquette, if that's your partner's name, often demands you clean out at least the garage. Always a major mountain to climb if time has passed since the last time you cleaned out the garage.
Not to mention a fair amount of vicarious "over-cleaning" that gets thrown in under the umbrella of "prep".
Why it has to involve high-pressure water spraying, I'll never know. Particularly the roof of the gazebo.
Now I know how Michelangelo felt painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Having said that, once it was done, I reckoned the gazebo roof looked better than the Sistine Chapel, if it had been covered in spiderwebs.
I felt nearly as exhilarated remembering to book the disco ball motor.
A garage full of 16-year-olds probably don't need an epileptic-inducing light show.
Then again, there's something time-honoured about a couple of spotlights on a rotating ancient disco ball. Takes it way beyond Countdown levels.
Throw in a PA, backyard inferno and ping-pong table and the party platform was set.
Only the menu remained - food.
Lots of it.
Shovelled out into the garage under the disco ball like you're dispensing hay to cattle from a helicopter during flooding in remote areas.
Just keep it coming, in tune to the music.
Pumping music - about lumps, and bumps and Fergalicious. Yeah, ah ha, mmmmmm.
If they're making those noises about the garlic bread too, then you're on the right track.
There's always a bit of a battle for stereo control. The boys get hold and it's all "what up, get down", heavy hip-hop in da crib.
Then the girls strike back with dance anthems and in a scientific approximation of opposites attracting, the gender spread coalesces in a big "yewww" on the floor and becomes a collective screaming mass.
Such a phenomenon to behold from the kitchen as similarly wild and crazy parents flick through Domain. Ah, the beauty of youth.
A nice way to meet other parents, too, as they swoop in at the designated hour to whisk their young-uns away.
Always the same question: "So you survived?" Often followed by, "Sorry, who was your kid?"
Not an unusual question given you more than likely have never met their parents. But embarrassing when it comes from your partner.
Having said that, there was a lot of energy in the room. One child literally jogged out of our house and down to Sydney for the City to Surf.
Another gave such a convincing performance helping to carry a sofa out to the garage before the party started that I'm pretty sure she was carrying the sofa.
I know I wasn't.
Delegating jobs is one of the upsides of getting early arrivals. I'm yet to identify any downside. To early arrivals, or indeed throwing a 16th.
A rare and wonderful chance to witness young people in their natural set-and-forget party mode.
Just add occasion and a dodgy speech and job's right.
Event management at its best.