Now that Christian is a teenager and is finding his "place" in the social scene we have opened our home to all of his friends on a pretty regular basis. We have the pool, the yard, the separate space for them to hang around...it just seems natural.
This weekend was no different...they couldn't decide on Saturday or Sunday so I told them they could have both days...and they did!!
Saturday was a great day to swim...they were outside all day...I made a dozen grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch...because some how I make "THE BEST" grilled cheese!! We did BBQ for dinner...they had a great day. As parents arrived to retrieve their children they looked at us and said..."and you want them tomorrow too!!!" I think they think I may be just a BIT crazy!!
They were spending Sunday here...now I needed to decide what we would eat...Being Italian, Sunday dinner is a sit down with the family kind of meal...so I decided Baked Ziti was the easiest to do with a crowd. I checked with the "group" to make sure everyone would eat that...got approval and set out to making dinner. The one request I had received on Saturday for Sunday was for "Slutty" Brownies!! So I baked them & some "Carmelitas for dessert.
We decided to treat this like a family dinner...we set the dinning room table for 9 (only 6 kids today) and we all sat together for a GREAT family style dinner. They talked, they shared stories, they laughed and they felt COMFORTABLE with us...so important! They had dessert and laughed some more...and we got to know a couple of them that we didn't know that well.
When we finished and Len and I were cleaning up...I looked at him and said...I do this because I can...He didn't quite understand at first...for a period of time I couldn't do any of this!! I couldn't cook, bake, clean, entertain...make a place for my son and his friends...Cancer had taken all of that away from me...I do this because I CAN!!! It means so much to me!
When I think back to the Baked Ziti Murder Mystery Dinners Rob had with his drama club from high school and the cuts and bruises Len and I fixed for Joey and his "skater" friends, or the picnics and parties we would have, the "sweet sixteen" party for Deana, the New Years Eve Murder Mystery Party or the many summer birthday parties in our yard....They all knew they had a place to go and they still come to see us. We see their kids.. we treat them and their families...we are FAMILY!!
I want Christian to have the same type of experience...I just feel blessed to have this time NOW. I won't waste it!
So, to all the parents of the kids that are often here....while I MAY be crazy...I really do enjoy having your kids here...we are building healthy, safe memories that they can take with them through their lives. Memories are important to me...they are what you leave behind! And at the same time it is a support system for them...for each other...I know how important that can be for a teenager...when some thing traumatic hits their lives...for me it is important that Christian learn and understand what true friendship is and means...being a friend is how you make a friend. It's important to me that he have that support system in place if the need arises again.
So, Thank you for sharing your children with us...we do feel Blessed to have them.
My next goal is to recruit them for our foundation...told the girls they have to sell our foundation bracelets!! Making it personal makes "paying it forward" have a little more meaning! We can always use young ideas to assist families battling this unfair disease...new & different ideas! Looking forward to enlisting them on our quest to ease the burden cancer places on a family...the only way we can....Day By Day!!