Tuesday, November 27, 2012


All the shingles were removed from the other house and thrown onto tarps on the ground.  The roof ended up needing more sheeting than originally estimated, so Mike decided that we could reduce some of the labor costs by picking up the shingles.  All of my children helped pick up the shingles and Joe had a friend named Jordan offer to help.  Jordan spent 12 hours Wednesday working on the project.

Jordan came over on Thursday to spend the day with us and ended up staying the night.  He didn't leave until Friday night.  Jordan is a really nice young man and he was a pleasure to have over.  At various times, Jordan said that he would like to live at our house and that he really enjoyed our family and that he was our new son.  Jordan's has one sister and he complained that his house is always quiet and boring.

This is the third time in recent months that one of my children's friends who have commented on how much they enjoy our family and how they wish that their family was more like ours.  Jordan's comments made me think about why those types of comments keep happening.  My family squabbles like any other family.  We don't sit down and eat dinner together each night. The children usually eat in the dinning room and I eat in the living room.   (Mike is always working and frankly I want the relative peace and quiet for a few minutes.)  The days of house beautiful are gone; we now experience house picked-up.  

We never do anything too special when my children have friends over.  We might play cards or a trivia game.  Sometimes we cook out or drive to firework displays.  Frequently, we simply talk and joke around with each other.  Never anything really exciting.  

Another friend that wanted his family to be more like ours comes from a well-to-do family.  Mom stays home and cares for the children.  They have traveled extensively.  This friend said that they never talk at his home.  He never knows when people are leaving on trips until they are gone. 

Is it because families are so busy running around that they don't take the time to enjoy each others company?  Do families no longer do things together?  Is our society so fractured that families no longer have time to talk and play cards? 

It might be that my family is hopelessly outdated.  We have a larger than average number of children, so people are always around.  We enjoy playing cards and Wii together. We joke with each other.  We laugh together.  We annoy each other.  We are available...almost always.  It is rare when either Mike or I are not home. Are my children's friends lonely?  I'm not really sure what these teens miss in their own homes.  All the families that I've mentioned have concerned parents who don't neglect their children.  It just makes me sad.

1 comment:

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I think dealing with the noise and activity level of a large family is a matter of idiosyncrasy. Very often I get overwhelmed in my family of four. My daughter's boyfriend is one of five kids, and he likes to come over to *our* house because it's quieter than his.

About the parenting thing. I could write you a book on it. The Musician, you see, is really good at listening and being there for her friends, so she finds a lot about what's really going on inside with them. One of the things she tells me is that kids never talk to their parents. And that's only the start. We're not the perfect family, but at least we talk to each other.