Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Have it, they will come...

Have it, and they will come...

Our home has been known throughout the years as "the gathering place", a busy household on the best of days from life within a large family, but also a home where tots, teens and young adults were always welcomed over to play, visit, work, do, school with us, or just hang out for a while. Sometimes all those age ranges were here at the same time. Busy! And noisy! But such is the way it is when a family allows for these times. Grin and bear it, it's worth every sacrifice, believe me.

In the very beginning of my early parenting years, I witnessed a situation involving four little girls who always played well together in the neighborhood. The mother of one of those girls always insisted her daughter could only have two friends over at any given time, intentionally leaving one of the gals out and the whole scene created such turmoil, she just didn't "get it" at all. There were always tears when the four went to play at her home, because it made her daughter "choose" - thereby continuously leaving one girl out and no one else to play with nearby. It was then when I had seen and heard enough heartbreaking repetition that I began a new parental philosophy whereby I declared my motto to be; "Everyone or no one!" Period!

If two neighbors ventured over to play and a few more stragglers knocked at the garden fence anticipating a welcomed response, (though some of the children didn't necessarily blend together), I always gave an affirmation that they were welcomed. Miraculously, all tended to behave and get along in my yard, not completely sure about why they didn't elsewhere.

Some came out of sheer curiosity to see for themselves what our backyard had to offer beyond that big gate. Some came just to feel a part of the big kids. Either way, they were allowed to come. Older ones were asked to be patient with the younguns, put up with them for a while and offer it up.

Some had their fill in no time at all, working their way back to their own homes, content just to have been included in the playtime with the others living nearby. But, all knew they could come our way and eventually, many of the other mothers in the area adopted the same philosophies as myself, and as a result we enjoyed many peaceful summers in that neighborhood. And then we moved. And then there were other mothers like the first mentioned here, hurting little one's feelings on purpose, so generally nasty in my opinion because on the flip side, their expectations for their own children in other neighbor's yards was in deep contrast to their own hospitality downfalls.

I could detail story after story here, but I shall not do that, just hope to encourage all mothers out there to adopt the practice of allowing for the noise and hubbub for the time being, because soon it will be gone and you can rejoice in the marvel of "quiet" for a time. *smile*

Who says children can't have a great time with people of all ages?
This night had everyone from ages 9 - 22 attending the sports fun and bonfire time.

Have it, they will come, the property that is, perfect for any sport or activity with room to roam, kick, shoot and play. From neighborhoods of children to friends far and wide, they have come to our property here in the east, just as they once did while living in the west.

Having our own children in various stages of life, many tots to young adults have frequented our home, and zillions of memories have been carved into their hearts. Today, it continues with another generation (again a deja vu of times gone by with the older children), and plenty of neighbors both far and wide still magnetizing towards our home.

In the past when unruly behavior has necessitated a word, an action or speaking to another parent, few children have been confronted with the possibility of not being able to come over again, but there have been a handful of disorderly children/teens in the neighborhood for sure. However, if I were to pose a question to them, something like; "Do you like being welcomed at our home?", I've only heard answers of; "Yes, I love it at your house, it's so fun there." It's always uplifting to hear about that one neighbor child who has always been a problem all through the years in other situations, but I can never attest to that fact happening after a visit to our home, because we have no trouble at all to speak of, perhaps the direct result of the welcome mat being out? Food for thought anyhow.

Resting after all the soccer they played together

Lots of room to run here

Oops, the volleyball net is sagging againThe cupcake caper;
turning icing mishaps into quite the joke of the night

Current sport of participation is soccer, so on the property this week,what else was up for participation? Well, let's see, soccer of course! And volleyball. And a lovely bonfire, the first of the season after many storms limited our ability to get it rolling.

Who did NOT prepare the firepit?
I think I know who...and his name begins with "A"!

Fun, Friends, Food --- Fabulous!

Come one, come all. Memories are also made of these, so when we take the time to allow for them to flourish, the fruits are many with plenty of thankful young people. What a great group gathering at our home once more, a delight really to have over any time. So polite. So friendly, and all so charitable towards one another, age gaps and all. Until the next time then...