“Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula
Wednesday, March 26th
Soon after I had made next-to-last-minute plans to have my sister-in-law over for a sleepover, I made last-minute plans to have an out-of-town friend over for a visit. My sister and friend know one another and are on the same wavelength, so I figured that this would be a good mix. My daughter would also be home early from school that day and my friend would be bringing her daughter as well, so the adult:child ratio would be equal.
It can be really unsettling to have a double visit as it completely changes the chemistry. I personally like this since it challenges my introverted self to find common ground between every one, or at the very least between each connection in the room.
This plan would actively engage one of the things I struggle with most which is being a warm and welcoming hostess. I never understood how private I was until I was much older. Potlucks in my 20s were a no-brainer because I could invite a large group of university classmates over or entertain my work friends that already knew one another. Being a stay-at-home parent means that my group size of familiar people has shrunk dramatically. The largest group I meet with (next to my cohousing neighbors) is the PTA from my daughter’s school. (Stay tuned for that blog post since I am hosting the PTA next Tuesday.) By and large, I find solace and comfort in wrapping up an active day with a dinner with my family and then putting the kids to bed. I am not a Dinner Party Diva.
The beauty of this day was that there was time for my daughter to decompress from a day at school, and then my sister and friend arrived a couple of hours later. Women and children. It felt like I was invoking an ancient tradition. Both women are attuned to the natural world so the house was filled with this lovely energy. That, or maybe I was drunk on the smell of a freshly baked bread loaf.
The visit turned into dinner, and it felt good to extend that much more to extend myself to both my sister and friend. My friend’s husband and my own partner arrived home within minutes of one another. We found out our friends had been struggling with making enough money which coincided with their car breaking down. I know that when I’ve been in a bind, it is so amazingly healing to come out of my own thoughts and connect with others. It puts things into perspective, so I was blissed that we might have provided some support and strength for our friends.
As things wound down, we said goodnight to the out-of-towners and bid them well on their journey home. I tried to stay up to chat with my sister, but I was tapped out. Fortunately, she was here for a sleepover and able to stay for a couple of hours in the morning. We got our heart-to-heart in.
I contacted both my sister and friend to thank them for coming over. It was a simple text to send, but I’ve learned it’s those little things that make people feel loved and welcome.
What do you do to make others feel welcome in your home?
- Hmmm, the Bible is actually a pretty common resource that pops up on “hospitality”
- What would your life be like if you lived in a different country? Ifitweremyhome.com Country Comparisons