Some of the best parents we know, a couple in Los Angeles, can attribute the well-roundedness of their children to the parade of guests that come through their home. This couple (and family) is one of the most hospitable I've ever met. Their kids are used to having all kinds of people around and have learned how to relate and converse with most anyone.
The first time I went to their house, when Ted and I were engaged, their 8-year-old son came running, jumping up into Ted's arms, looking him in the face and shouting, "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!"
Ted looked at the small ape hanging on him and asked, "What can't you believe?"
"You're here! You're really here!"
Yeah, they're pretty over-the-top hospitable. We want our kids to be comfortable around most anyone. So we're happy that this fall, we've had a revolving door of guests that started with my dad, then a college friend of Ted's, then our friend Staci who was here during Halloween, and now one of my old students from my years teaching in Slovakia whose Austrian boyfriend is arriving tomorrow.
Abe is shy for all of five minutes but is quickly trying to rummage through their suitcases while asking them, "What are you doing now?" every 30 seconds.
I was searching for a decent picture of my student, but the only one I could find in our photo library is this one:
This was at her stuzkova (sort of like prom, but just a lot fancier and way more formal and much fewer drunken binges and DUIs). She's in the black skirt, on the right, the one with the most beautiful red hair you've ever seen. I took this in December of '06, the last time I was in Slovakia, which is much too long in my opinion. Having her here is making me miss it.
It's been really fun today to trade gossip on our old school while drinking wine (hey, she's 22 now, so it's alright). It's always a little bittersweet to see these sweet students growing up, making lives of their own.
I'm just so lucky that they still sometimes want to hang out with me. And they bring me fancy European chocolate too. Whole bagfulls of it. Like I said, I'm really lucky.
I think you three are WELL on your way to being that kind of hospitable. Its one of the really remarkable things about you: your ease and grace with guests. It's one of the things about guys I really admire...and am a bit envious of. I DON"T have that, at all. I wish I did.....but, since ya'll (thats the folksy talk from where I live to butter you up for impending drop in) are SO good w/ it, I might bring us all out for an inservice on it! That'll be the true test, eh??
Hope you have fun with your former student and copious amounts of chocolate. Mmmm.....
Thank you Lori so much for everything! We had a great time and I really hope that next year we will manage to come down to Portland again. Say hi to Abe (he is even more adorable than I imagined) and and Ted from us :) Enjoy your chocolate and we hope to see you in Vienna sometimes.
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