Growing up, my parents set out to make our house a fun, safe and preferred place for my friends and I to hang out. For years it was after school Golden Eye battles, Smash Brothers tournaments and so, so many WarCraft 2 lan parties. I think we went outside once or twice too, but this was the golden era of N64 multiplayer games who cared about vitamin d?
In that clarity of thought that comes along with age and experience, I am quite envious of my parent’s ability to create a space no one had an issue being in. Kids loved the house, parents loved the house, even neighbors did not mind a troop of teenagers running around. I live blocks away from a college and find myself saying, “dang kids” more often than is appropriate. Our immediate neighbors growing up were wicked old, but never made waves about the loud kids next door.
Today my wife and I did get a little taste of being the house with all the kids at it. Our friends came up for much needed adult time and with them, the troop of boys aged five years to eight months we call our kids. Adult time was brief.
I came out of the day with a new found appreciation for our day care team. Five kids, six adults it should have been easy. Five kids with their own plans and just grasp the concept of sharing make sure the coffee pot empties quickly. They ran, jumped, screamed, threw, laughed, and light-saber battled the day away. It was awesome and exhausting.
Toys covered the basement floor and it was the best mess in the world. It was the sign of a home being loved. I do not know if the kids will remember the day, but I will. My oldest son exchanged jokes with my bestfriends’ kids today. The baby watched every move the older boys made. Nap times were missed and meltdowns were had, but that was not the takeaway from today. Today was about not missing a thing.
The firstborn ran well beyond his limits. It was a day ended with delivered pizza (of which he ate three slices; maybe today was closer to having teenagers in the house than I thought) and Netflix. He was asleep by the end of our first book at bedtime. The baby refused to sleep during the day, in fear of missing out, and was asleep pretty much before his dinner was over. I do not think we’ll be seeing him before morning alarms wake the house.
Any day with a house full of laughing kids is a good day. I hope it happens again soonish. It is going to take a month to get caught up on sleep. Good golly do these kids not slow down.