11 June, 2014

Sleepovers and goodbyes

School finished (for the boys) yesterday at lunch time. Right there all routine life ended for a time.

At that point I said goodbye to my youngest son, who went to stay at his friend's house overnight.

I came home to what I thought would be an empty house, but turned out there my middle son beat me. In the entry I had to work my way around a pile of discarded bags and backpacks. It seems that my eldest son and his friends had beaten me too, left their bags and gone again, leaving the door unlocked.

In a belated birthday celebration, we'd invited about a dozen of our eldest son's friends to a sleep-over party last night. They went to "the eki" for lunch. "The eki" is the train station and short for "the commercial area around that area". I think they probably went to McDonalds, I haven't asked.

Around 1.30 a bunch of teenagers blew into my house. From that point until now, 23 hours later, I've had boys (and one girl) traipsing in and out. Very unusual for our family. Our older two boys have introvert personalities and don't generally invite friends over except on special occasions. Neither David or I grew up with such events either, so it is always a bit novel when it happens. I loved it! 

It was super hard to take photos of 10 people in our little lounge room
(about 9 square metres). This was a game of 7Wonders.
Before I left school yesterday I said goodbye to a few of my friends. One mum of girls (not yet teens) wanted to know what the just-finished-ninth-graders would do.
They played board games, and generally "hung out" in our lounge room listening to music, playing a guitar, telling bad jokes, talking to Siri on their iPhones. Oh, they watched some DVDs too (like Top Gear and Garfield). And got to sleep at around 4am (I crashed at 11.30).

No, we didn't need to entertain them, though we did join in some of the fun.

Yes, there was a girl there, she left at 5, leaving me as the only female in the
house. Last night only four guys stayed over. They all slept in this little room.
We fed them. Washed up. Fed them again. Washed up again. You get the picture.
What was most fun was getting to know more of our son's friends.

What brought most joy was seeing flesh and blood answers to our many prayers when we came back to CAJ four years ago: for friends for our lonely son. Most of the friends he'd made at CAJ before we left for home assignment last time weren't at CAJ anymore when we got back. 

What brought most encouragement was seeing what lovely young men (and one woman) these teenagers are turning into. We're so glad for this group!

What brings most sadness is saying, "Goodbye, see you in 14 months!"

This week will bring more kids into our house. Our middle son will have two friends over on two different days and may go to a sleepover at another friends house tomorrow (he hasn't decided yet). This is a deliberate strategy on our part, allowing our boys, who aren't good at goodbyes, to spend a bit of extra time with friends who are special to them.

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