There is not much else that I love as much as having people over for dinner and being able to spend time with them. I have no doubt I would do it more often and I suppose as the kids get older I probably will. I don't think I will go as far as my Aunt in Maine, whom I never see, who built her home for the sole purpose of having people over but I suppose I have the 'love of cooking and seeing other people enjoy themselves gene.'
Believe it or not we have very little family. We see my parents quite often as they only live an hour away and they too have been at many a function with an extra ten to twenty or more people at it. Fortunately we have many friends who I think enjoy our company and we love theirs so they are our adopted family. The other people who are actually family have limitations that prevent them from coming so from the time left in the craziness of raising our children and managing their schedules, we go to see Charley's parents a few times a year.
Hospitality itself is a way to be able to share something of myself with others and to be able to enjoy them too. It is hard for people to really know much of anything about a mom of eight if their perception is clouded by my running to change diapers or feed or quiet an infant. How can anyone get to know me on that basis? I love opportunities to get to know them better too so why not create them? If we overwhelm others then the problem is solved by having others come to me. Ironically, most of my friends also have lots of kids so for those friends what is eight, ten, fifteen extra anyway? (No - I am not fishing for an invitation from them to have my whole family over -they already do that themselves from time to time).
The other thing about hospitality is that I want my children to be able to think outside themselves as they move on to their own lives and families. Hospitality is a lost art I think. It is especially lost as far as people considering having not just parents of friends over but their children too. Why would a person ever THINK to have a family with a whole bunch of kids over anyway???? That would be crazy (sarcasm). I will have to post the pictures from Erik's bday party last fall where there were mobs of kids in our field playing games or at least trying to.
Thank you friends for putting up with me and thank you that you come to my not always pristinely cleaned home with a hairy dog that lives here and eyes your children's sandwiches. I love my family family, but I also love my adopted family. Too bad that responsibility thing stands in the way of not partying more. :o)
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