It is a lot of work sometimes; having your house full of your kids’ friends, but there are so many benefits to it.
Yes, kids can eat a lot. Yes, they can make a mess. Yes, they can be very loud, vivacious, obnoxious (I don’t like that word), and just plain chatty (although not all of them).
I know; I have three kids, and our house is frequently occupied by more than just our family. Our cars are usually transporting a bus full of kids, tweens, and/or teens to some event or another.
One of our vehicles is a 14-year-old Chevy Suburban, with more than 225,000 miles on it and still running strong. We call it “the beast.” We may get a new car someday, but we will not give up “the beast,” however.
“The beast” does the job, cabbing our children and their friends to whatever event is occurring. We don’t have to worry about spills, kids climbing over the seat to get to the next row in the Sebora bus, or a few McDonald’s french fries that got “left” on the seat for the next haul.
Just last weekend, our daughter in junior high had seven girls stay overnight after a football game. We also dropped off a van full of our son’s friends at their homes after the game.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
We do it because we love our children, and want to support them in their friendships. We want them to have friends.
For me, I like having a full house and a full car. I like chatter and laughter. My husband and I frequently say that when our kids are out of the house and on their own, we will absolutely wish we had noise, chatter, and busyness around.
When our children’s friends are around, we get to know the kids they are hanging out with. When you are around the chatter and kids, you know what they are talking about and what is going on in their lives. This is important.
On our most recent “beast” excursion, we got the low down on prom who might be asking whom, and who isn’t going with whom. (Yes, it is only November, but I guess prom talk starts earlier these days).
We learned about kids’ perspective on teachers. Believe it or not, they actually talk about their homework, assignments due, grades, and projects when they are not in school. Yes, they are good kids. Yes, kids do care about school and their work.
When you have seven tween/teen girls stay overnight, there is not much sleeping. There is lots of chatting, laughing, and just plain fun.
I really enjoy being in the presence of their goofiness, even if it means not getting much sleep and then getting up and making cinnamon rolls, bacon, and coffee for giddy girls who got but a minimum of sleep, if any.
I know who my kids hang out with. I know their friends well. It is an investment with large dividends.