We had the honor tonight of being guests at a new friends home for dinner. Might I say a lovely dinner it was too! We have only met and spoken to this family once but have seen them once prior to that. You see for us it isn't often we run into a family who has more than 3 kids; let alone 4 or more. This family stood out to us from the beginning, it was only after they spotted us and decided to introduce themselves did I realize that they may have wanted to meet us just as much as we wanted to meet them.
After talking to them and finding that we had quite a bit in common we proceeded to exchange numbers. Only to be invited to dinner the very next weekend; excitedly we accepted. Not knowing what to expect, we showed up with dessert in hand, anticipating a great time. Who knew that it would be much more than that.
Arriving a bit late (as is our staple) we were wisked into the midst of excited children welcoming us at the door as the wonderful aroma of dinner passed. Upon entering we found a beautiful home, a bit cluttered with the things left un-done from the days activities.(Only a bit too much like us) As dinner commenced there was plenty of conversation. Seemingly everything was discussed from housework to hunting thus often interrupted by a little one....needing something (as is common in our home). The children all ran about enjoying the company, my husband seemed to feel rather at home as well.
As the night proceeded it was time to nurse the baby. I was invited to the office for some privacy, this after much apology for the untidy piles of clothes I was to ignore on the floor. And more apology for embarrassment of the un-tidyness. Smiling I said 'No,no it's ok, really' (little did she know I was really serious) If she only knew what our house went thorough on a daily basis...and I have an older helper to get things done!!
The rest of the night was filled with some very heart felt discussions between the wife and I. Nothing deep, just honest, sincere and humble. This is also the way that I would describe her as well. This is the most grateful person I have met in a long time and I am so proud to be forming a friendship. There is so much to be learned from one another here. The things that I am failing at she is succeeding and likewise the things she feels a failure at I am accomplishing. This could be a very healthy connection for the both of us. You see, there are friends that are so much like you that it is uncanny and they are just a joy to have around, you just 'get' one another. Then there are friends who aren't like you. But these are the ones that inherently help you to figure out you...and this is one of those!!
I really left her home feeling peaceful, maybe even a bit re-charged. On the flip side, I also felt that I left this dinner date feeling as though I may have made her feel a bit inadequate. Maybe a bit dis-organized...I hope that is not so because that was not the intention. I am just at a different point in my life because my kiddos are a bit older. I know for sure she will be there one day too. She has all the right makings! But as for me, to say it best, I was so glad to have met her and her wonderfully normal family. I have finally met a family that makes me feel that it is really ok to just be us. <sniff, sigh>
In the end we discovered that they have kids that act like kids (just like us), they are human and there is only so much time in a day (just like us), they have flaws they are not afraid to acknowledge (just like us), they are just trying to figure life out and do what is best for their family, using what may work for another family and trying it on for themselves (just like us). I remember so well when I felt so inadequate, when I felt as every other Mom/large family had it together and I was just fighting to keep my head above water. It was good to use what worked for others to advance my own family but I felt so inferior. By meeting this wonderful family I have discovered a lot about my self and maybe I was wrong earlier when I said that we are very different, I think we are all too much the same. I see myself in her (albeit we are almost the same age). I see when I wanted to be 'that' family. I see the compassion, love and gratefulness I posses. Wow, who knew that one night with one family could have been so good to me. God knows what he is doing! We are not odd, we do not have to conform and we have been there.... Yep, we're allright!! (Just like them, LOL!)