If you ever get the chance to help someone when they need it most, DO IT! Like run to the front of the line of people offering, wave your arms, jump up and down and get that job! Aside from the job of raising humans, it quite possibly might be one of the best you ever experience!!
Recently, my husband, children, and I had the opportunity to help some friends out that really needed it and I think what we learned most from the experience is the value in connection, like real human to human connection sin electronic devices! What?!?! Didn’t know that still existed. It does, and it’s really cool, trust me.
I am only going to share a bit of our friends’ story as it’s not mine to share but for a little context here. They had a dream to move into our area to provide some wonderful opportunities for their two youngest boys, one of which plays lacrosse with my oldest son. That is how we became friends, on the sideline of the game watching our boys grow up from little bobble heads trying to scoop up a ground ball or figuring out the whole cradling and wall ball routine to competing at the highest levels possible now. Well, they sold their beautiful home in no time and it took them a bit to find their new dream home nearby. Once they found the home, they immediately acted on it and closed as fast as possible, the only trick was they needed a few weeks in between. They were a family of 5 and 2 furry friends in tow and essentially needed somewhere to go. We have the space and my husband and I saw it as a no brainer, offer to them to stay here, no questions asked, no more stress nor worry. This family is such a loving one that I am sure they had a line of people willing to host them as well, fortunately for us, they came and nestled in here.
Now, that can be a pretty risky offer and experience right?! Combining two families under one roof… for us, it was anything but. We learned to not only open up our home but our hearts, minds, and experiences. We were treated to lots of yummy meals thanks to my friend with her awesome meal service and cooking skills. My boys had constant motivation to interact with their friends rather than bury themselves in their iPhones and iPads. The TV became fairly obsolete unless a good game was on or a binge-worthy series, even then it was after bedtime that we indulged in one of those. We were fortunate enough in this circumstance to become one big happy extended family. I think we all learned how to be comfortable in our own skin with others and that our differences were actually more similar than they were different. We balanced fun with life and for them, their new house flooded so that fun was a little less than normal, but man they were still the most positive attitudes in the room! Our kids started doing homework alongside one another in between lacrosse sets and wrestling bouts. We enjoyed a little time on our back deck chatting about life and getting to know one another a little beyond our sons’ sports lives. It really was pretty awesome and I know they think we did them a huge solid but my husband and I feel quite the opposite, we know we provided them a space to be in during their hectic transition, but they provided us so much more! Their influence on our kids was bar none and we are forever grateful for our month and a half sharing our home and our lives together. We now have the best gift of all, forever friends. Genuine, open, raw, and honest friendships… something that seems (sadly) harder and harder to find or keep any more.
So, like I said when I began… whether it is opening your home (even if it’s a couch and a shower with a warm meal), giving rides, teaching a trade, offering a helping hand, an ear, or a shoulder, keep doing it… do it until you think you shouldn’t any more than do it one more time. The gift of giving is a funny one, the more you give, the more you receive really. My heart is full and there are always tears that come to my eyes when I have the chance to reflect on this one. Nothing defines my husband more than him letting me offer our home to others, he is the most wonderful hearted man alive (next to my dad) and I am proud to be his wife.
The doormat (thank you target) I found this summer is our most genuine message yet, “all are welcome here.” Sincerely!