Mike and I tease about our B&B because we up front tell people that it really is a "make your own bed and cook your own breakfast" for the most part. It takes me hours before I really function well in the mornings while so many "normal" folks have already been up and at it for the day. However, there is always food in the fridge and a grocery store around the corner. Most importantly, hot coffee can be offered at all times of the day. Win win!! Our guest bedroom and our man cave in the basement are frequently occupied. Between my own guys as well as their many friends, I actually can't keep up with who is where most of the time! Crazy! Sounds of laughter and joy fill our home which certainly lift our spirits.
The silly shenanigans of board and video games being played, movies runnng as if the basement were a theater, cooking and baking at all hours of the day and night, and basketball bouncing in the driveway---make our home a place where all are welcome for sure. I truly treasure every moment as I know the young men and women are growing up, moving away, and settling into their new lives. This is bittersweet.
Watching our own sons and their beautiful friends interact and share life together makes my heart very happy. Over the years our house has always been a full one, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. Parenting young adults and journeying with them as they step into this uncertain world full of daunting challenges is not an easy thing. Who knew? We try our best to guide with lots of love and understanding and then step aside and allow God to fully watch over and care for them.
This summer our family bid farewell to some dear friends of many years. Obviously this was not easy to do, but saying goodbye was a necessary part of the process for them to move on to new midlife adventures. For that, we are happy for them. We celebrated with small parties and picnics to help give them send offs they will hopefully remember for years to come. I know we will.
I am not saying that the Aleo summer has been devoid of conflict and sick days and suffering. This is certainly not the case. As a family we are always working on relationship issues which entail much prayer and sacrifice and sometimes keeping our "big mouths shut"!! However, it is in the deep mystery of receiving God's mercy and grace that we gather the strength to press onward together.
So, amidst the work and play schedules, the sick and painful days, the sitting with others who are hurting and suffering, the celebrations of important life events, and gathering around the big kitchen table for many meals of the loaves and fishes, our house is full of happy. Praise God.