Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Open Door

Growing up my grandparents lived in a home where the door was always open.  Always. (Except to the Sunday morning Jehovah Witness)

It didn't matter if it was a weeknight or a Saturday mid-afternoon or a holiday.  As a matter fact, on the holidays I think their door was more open- if that's even possible.

This quality of my grandparents' family life is something that I know that my parents have tried to pass on and it is something that I feel I have completely absorbed.

When we finally moved into our current house I sent out 'We've moved' announcements (they were really cute- I used paint chips and the saying 'The paint has finally dried....') and at the bottom of each announcement I put that our door was always open.  And it is.

My house is not always clean.  Actually, considering our schedules right now, it's more often messy than it is clean!  I do not always have a ton of food in the fridge or the cabinets.  And we're not always equipped with out friends and family members' favorite beer.  But our door is always open.

For a very long time I struggled with the idea that maybe people didn't realize that.  Maybe people didn't see that they really could just show up at our house- especially if they had a bottle of wine with them! ;)  I worried that people felt it was too far to visit- and I still worry about that.  I was concerned that our friends felt as if they were intruding or were over too much.  That our invitations were refused because people felt as if they were being invited out of obligation or necessity.

This past weekend was probably the first weekend where I did not have a game or practice or a lesson or something to do.  The kids and I were F-R-E-E.  The husband had to work but that's normal- to us.  And I decided to send out a quick text and in a matter of minutes we had guests coming over for no other reason than they wanted to.  They knew the door was open and were ok with the drive and messy house and minimal food.  They just wanted to be.

And it was great.

And the next day, more guests.  A quick invite.  A simple plan and a dinner with wine and dessert was arranged and the house was filled with laughter.

All weekend.

I vividly remember the people sitting around my grandparents' table and in their living rooms- both sides of my family.  People who were not blood relatives, and some who were.  All family.  And all knowing that the door was always open to them, to everyone.

I carry that with me.  I welcome people to our table regularly.  It's part of why I love throw a party or have people over for dinner.  It's part of what brings me joy and helps me to teach my children about the value of family and love.

Our door is ALWAYS open.  To ANYONE.  And it's in that door being open that I find my connection to family and friends.  That I find my connection to something bigger than me.  That I find comfort.

It is having that door open that creates the memories I hope my children carry with them into their own families and friendships.


CrAzY Working Mom said...

I think that the open door policy is the best! I remember my family always had open doors for everyone! It makes for happy children. :)

natural girl said...

Thats an awesome post and an awesome concept. Sounds like a happy family

Caffeine Court said...

I'll be right over!! Ha ha.

But seriously, this is a beautiful post. I love my friends who I feel comfortable enough around to let in when my house is in it's usual state of chaos. I tend to get caught up in worrying what adults think when they walk into the menagerie I call home.

My door is always open to my children's friends and I love that they love playing here.

Beautiful post.

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