i guess it was about 13 or 14 years ago, in the earliest years of our farming and parenting, paul and i accepted an invitation for dinner and an overnight with a child-less couple in our csa. we were imagining engaging conversations, purposeful adult reflection and a fine dinner made from our produce. the reality was we spent our time chasing after our overtired toddler running amok in a not child proofed home and wondering why on earth anyone would place fine ceramics on a bottom shelf.
many years have passed and the story of this fateful night is one we still tell laughing, but i have to admit, i tailored many social moments to fit my family in the years since. we tended to hang out with families more and more, opting for households that had their fill of toys. i easily fell into the place where we found like minded friends that also had children of their own. at least we hoped, the finest china would be out of reach.
but hey, i wondered, there are some fine folk out there that haven’t followed the same child rearing path. interesting people that i want to engage with, there were always more friends to be had. last year, around this time, we socialized with some “new” friends, great people that haven’t had children, i wrote about that night here. an interesting series of events unfolded that day about a year ago and we enjoyed an unusual kid free evening.
this past weekend a dinner party was arranged once again in this lovely home, our hosts welcomed us and assured us our children would be welcome. (we kept missing opportunities to dine with our new friends because we kept trying to arrange alternate options for the kiddos) somehow, the date fell into perfect place and we showed up with our saturday market day fatigue, 2 children and a whole lot of excitement. as we entered our hosts noted they had never hosted kids in the house. ok friends, here we go, we get to be the first?
what unfolded this weekend was nothing short of perfect. our hosts, and the other guests (one other child-less couple and one couple with a grown child) could not have been more welcoming of our family. william’s opening all windows and doors was received with smiles, spilled sand was quickly vacuumed, and lime full mocktails accompanied the adult’s fine beverages. we drank from glassware, ate on china, and never, ever did we feel awkward . it was so perfectly integrated and lovely.
so, i thank first my hosts, what a welcome. if this event pushed them outside of their comfort zone, you never would have guessed. and oh yes, the other guests. new friends to us that shared in the joy of little feet running about this home for the first and hopefully not last time! so dear readers, i hope everyone can use this as an opportunity to push the limits you yourself might have imposed. sometimes, if all aligns as it should, you can find yourself having so much fun just outside of your usual places. we find solace in that sameness, but all that difference can make life so joyful too. with the resounding success of our latest date, i want to inspire you all to delight in diversity. you might just find yourself welcome, cared for, well fed and loved.