My House Is The Gathering Place


Our house has always been the gathering place.  Ever since my boys have been old enough to choose friends of their own, I've suggested that they all hang out here.  That way I know who they're spending time with, and I can keep a covert eye on their activities.

In the beginning it seemed like a good idea.  Our older son has had a core group of three friends since early high school, and they feel like extra children to us.  Now they're all off at college, but they spend lots of time here during vacations and summer break.

Three extra teenagers I can handle any day - no problem.

But then came T, our younger son.  He is very social - he likes everybody and they like him. And apparently they want to hang out with him at his house.  All. the. time. 


I can't really blame them - it's our own fault.  We've made it entirely too comfortable. Here at the gathering place, everybody loves my hubby - he's funny and tells great stories.When I was a teenager, nobody ever wanted to come over and risk running into the Grinch, AKA my father.  

We've inadvertently set up the daylight basement to be an American Teenage Male paradise. Comfy couches, big screen television, lots of video games, and direct access to the backyard with a fire pit.  It was intended to be our relaxation spot - until the teenagers took over. Now they're multiplying like Gremlins and I don't know how to get rid of them.

I think T strategically tricked us into this situation.  Unfortunately, he's smarter than we are.   It started with a few friends, having a bonfire or movie night once in a while.  But then he suggested that they may as well stay over, because after all, it's dangerous to drive late at night.  I hate it when he uses my own words against me!  Now they're here every weekend, eating, drinking all our soda, and being loud and messy. My basement looks and smells like a fraternity party the morning after a sleepover.  


I don't even want to think about how much it costs to feed them.  I'm going through about fifty bags of popcorn a month - bless you, Costco.  I actually blame my husband for this one.  If someone is a guest in our home, he's going to make sure they're well fed.  Trust me, these boys get a good breakfast - no wonder nobody wants to leave.

I'm worried that things might be getting out of control.  Last Friday, on the 4th of July, there were nine teenagers here, running around, lighting off fireworks, and well....being boys.  I was so afraid that someone was going to blow a finger off or put their eye out while I was in charge.  I spent the entire evening sitting outside, pretending to be interested in the 582nd firecracker of the night.

We're definitely too nice to these boys.  Maybe we should stop feeding and watering them.  The thing is, they are all really nice kids - they're polite and friendly, and clean up after themselves - most of the time.  Plus, I do like keeping my covert eye on things.

In a few years they'll be gone, and it will be awfully quiet around here.  We won't run out of popcorn, and hubby and I will have our basement back.

On second thought, I hope they keep coming over.  I like being the gathering place.

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