“A modern man registers a hundred times more sensory impressions than an eighteenth-century artist.” – Fernand Léger
“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Saturday, April 19th
My cup often runneth over. The cup of impatience. The cup of stimuli and response. Basically my nervous system feels a bundle of wires that are crammed into a tall cup when I really need a venti. So I make choices that protect me from bubbling and frothing – small group activities, solace and downtime, and a good amount of time outdoors.
This weekend has tested my capacity to handle deviations from the optimum. On Friday, four adult guests and one child came to stay in our happy home. Each person is lovely and kind in his and her own right, and I am happy to be able to open my doors to them to stay. My home has two bedrooms and one loft and while it is spacious for my family’s needs, it has not provided much privacy over the last couple days. I like to shake my head at myself and say “First world problems, Old Girl” but when children are involved it has a way of creating more of an impact.
The mother and daughter got locked out during the first night since the young girl got excited at 4 am in the morning upon seeing all my kids’ toys. Her mom took her outside for a moment and locked herself out of our house. She didn’t wake us up, and got stuck in her car. That SNAFU pretty much started her weekend off on a sour and sleepless note. She never quite recovered and the ongoing activities set her energy and health back even more. Her family headed home early to try to catch up on rest which was completely understandable, but it still broke my heart. I want all of my friends and visitors to feel that my home is a sanctuary for them while they are here, and I know that it wasn’t.
I’m grateful that each guest has a family of his or her own, so there was compassion when I was struggling with my parenting around a full house. My children seemed to be the least affected by the changes. They woke up at the crack of dawn and made the same noise they always make. They were excited to have more friends at the dinner table. They revel in our home being a refuge for them and our friends. So do I.
How do you stay sane when you have visitors?
- A Guide To Out of Towners in NYC
- Guests That Suck (When You’ve Just Birthed a Baby)
- How to Make Guests Feel Welcome, Apartment Therapy