Monday, June 13, 2011

That House

Growing up in a small town where I could easily walk or ride my bike to every friend's house, it was quite common for me to drop in to visit a friend and likewise, my friends did the same. No invites were needed; it was simply understood that when you were in someone's neighborhood, you could knock on their door (or even play the guitar underneath a friend's window as the case may be--thanks Rob and Andrew for that beautiful memory of mine), and you'd be invited inside. Supper tables easily squeezed in one more place setting and multiple phone calls were made home to parents, "Mom? I'm at Sue's house. I'll have dinner here".

My parents were quick to invite my friends to stay for a snack or for dinner when they'd come by. I had many friends who would drop over to shoot some pool or to hang out. I loved having a home where there were always cookies to offer and a Mom and Dad who never minded extra company. Were were "that house" that had a sincere welcome mat at its front door. Thus, I grew up knowing that when I was a Mom, I wanted my own children to know their friends were always welcome at our home too.

However, in the town we settled in, a few busy roads prevent my kids' friends from dropping by on their bikes. A few of their friends drive now but between work and activity schedules, it seems time is limited for random visits nowadays. Still, every so often, my children will call from school to ask if it's okay for a friend of theirs to come over to hang out a few hours before practice or if it's alright for a friend to get dropped off at our house for a ride to a school event. The questions are just a formality for my children know my answer will always be, "Yes, of course".

Today I received one of those calls. I swung by the high school to pick up Emma and Mason who would come home for a few hours before play practice. Having just arrived home from work I went upstairs to change my clothes and within no time I could smell the batch of brownies they were making, a traditional snack for the two of them to bake. I went downstairs to tackle the dish washer and the two of them worked on homework in the study. Later, I'd fix tacos for dinner and my husband would cart them over to play practice, picking up Savannah on the way.

Other days it's Shannon who is over for a few hours. Or Paul will give Sean or Hunter a call. Sydney will have roommate Kaitlin down for a night too. When the kids were little, neighbors Danielle, Jacqui or Jeremy would be by almost daily. For years I was known for always having freezer ice pops ready for eating! And I'll never forget the way Willie used to show up our deck almost daily, making faces through the window at baby Paul who was sitting in his high chair and waiting for the girls to come outside to play.

I am happy that although this isn't quite the hometown I grew up in, my childrens' friends feel welcome, safe, and well fed in our home. They can pull up a chair and share a meal or drop by unannounced when they are in the neighborhood. I'm glad that I have been able to give my children that gift of knowing that their parents truly like their friends and enjoy having them visit.

Now, if only I could get my own friends (and family) to drop by more often !

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