There are two tents and eight 20-somethings in my 87-year-old parents’ yard.
As I pull in the driveway, a complete stranger greets me as he makes his way back to the campsite.
Oh, yeah, I thought. My mom mentioned that my nephew and his friends camped there last night after a concert. It did not occur to me that they would still be there at 3pm when I drove in for a visit with my niece, in town from Colorado for a short visit.
I wondered what I would say if my future grandchildren asked to camp with 7 friends I didn’t know – in my yard.
That’s my mom. You have no place to stay, or you need someone to hear your struggles? Look no further. All are welcome!
I appreciate the comfort of routine, and as empty nesters, Peter and I have quite a nice routine established. At the same time, I realize how important it is to be comfortable with disruption of that peaceful, predictable pace. I always want to invite a little “messy” into my life – the good stuff that isn’t predictable.
I think this takes a continued willingness to actively deviate from life patterns, in other words to practice it. Left to our passive tendencies, don’t most people just passively slide into a rut before they know it? And then, isn’t it extremely difficult to be comfortable outside of it?
Although we have no grandchildren yet, I can see how important it is to welcome – even encourage – kids and stepkids, along with their significant others, dogs, friends, . . . . along with the messiness that a good life contains. If they don’t feel welcome, they will not come – simple as that. One more thing – cook it and they will come.
Note: Here’s our current source of practice with messiness – Kilty, a small but feisty Westy we are dog-sitting this week. There is nothing like a dog – especially someone else’s dog – to keep it “fresh”. She has the bark of a dog many times her size, and seems to magically appear under foot at all times. Super cute though! I guess I have to forgive her for the housewarming gift she left under my desk when she first came over – a little nervous in her new surroundings.