I have two boys. But this is the first house where we've had a place to send them. We've never had a basement before. For those of you who don't have a basement and still raise or entertain boys my hat is off to you. Moms and caretakers of boys need a place to send them, a respite from the craziness if you will. Before they were always on top of us: running through the house, crowding into my son's tiny room, and eating me out of house and home.
Now I banish them to the basement. They can be loud, smelly, physical and I can just pretend that all is well with the world and those shouts and grunts are normal sounds emanating from the basement. After all, if I can't see it, it's not happening, right?
We love having boys at our house. I want to be the house that kids feel happy and loved in. Recently one of my son's friends was over eating dinner with us. James had already finished up and rushed back downstairs to restart their video game, but his friend lingered. "You guys are the nicest," he said as he took a cookie from my pantry. "I've had other friends but you guys are the nicest family," he said again as he joined James downstairs.
I was flabbergasted. All that for a measly dinner of leftovers? I kind of felt bad for the kid. But I don't think he realizes how much he touched my heart. I LOVE that he feels happy here. I LOVE that he knows we love his company.
We have an open door policy. (We also have an open pantry policy, which means groceries are often depleted.) Every child who wants to come and play is welcome. Some may not work out as well as others, but I never want a child to feel excluded from our home.
Boys need love just like girls. They need to be included. They need to be encouraged. They need grown-ups to feel their interests are important and interesting.
We make an effort to really get to know the kids our home. Sometimes they might be surprised to learn we remembered their birthday, or their family trip, or the girl they like. But the reward has been chats about those girls, or frustrations in their life, and I couldn't love more the way they open up when they realize we truly care.
So when recently for the second time in about a month those lovely boys broke yet another photo frame on my family room wall of art, I just took it in stride. It's a part of having a house of boys. And while we might not be able to have nice things, frankly I'd rather have the boys.