I might write more about this fear and how much it is or isn't being assuaged as we settle into our new reality -- considerable identity may have coalesced around our roles as Providers of Parental Hospitality or something like that. Linen cupboards full, dinner plates and cutlery and coffee mugs to host twenty without borrowing from the neighbours (and neighbours who would readily have lent if needed), two kayaks, a canoe, a child-size kayak, a bicycle for whatever size the visiting grandkid might be. A garden (complete with a fishpond) dotted with tables and chairs, benches in just the spot you might like to sit and have Nana read you a story, hammocks for reading your own or whispering secrets to your doll. . .
And for the adult kids, room to put the littles down for the night within secure earshot but far enough away that Grown-ups could unwind with their siblings and/or with us, catching us up anecdote by anecdote over a weekend. . . . Being able to carry a few blankets down to the beach chairs to wrap my grown babies against the night's chill. . .
I suspected I'd miss all of that, miss being so clearly still in the role of Mom. And as I say, perhaps I'll write more about that as I experience and perhaps begin to analyse the shift. Or not.
But I will say that on Sunday, we had one of our families stop in for a short-notice dinner here, and it was a relaxed, rich, hugely enjoyable meal despite us currently having only six dinner plates and the cutlery sloshing around in a drawer without dividers. Earlier that afternoon, we'd got caught up in the purchase and delivery of a new sectional for the terrace, so instead of preparing a "proper" meal, we picked up Indian takeout for a restaurant I can see just across the road as I write this. Pater slipped around the corner, as he waited for the takeout to be ready, and bought a growler of beer from one of the three microbreweries in the immediate neighbourhood. Our daughter brought a cake she'd baked that afternoon and Granddaughter wielded the can of whipped cream she'd begged as a special treat.
And between that lovely evening and the text message a few days later that Another Daughter was walking her two Littles over to our place, I'd found the highchair and the box marked Kids' Toys, and we played out on the terrace while Pater walked the few blocks to pick up ingredients for a simple pasta meal.
And the next afternoon, Nana sits alone, listening to the echoes of the family meals (writing a new post for a Readalong you can join here) and thinking "This might just work."
To keep the conversation open to all my readers, I'd like to know how moves that you've made or that you anticipate or consider making have changed the ways you interact with friends and/or family. Does the size of your home make a difference in your entertaining patterns? Do you wish for more or less space, for more or less control or responsibility in family entertaining?
Or, of course, any other question or comment you care to make. Off now to meet my sister for a run, our first since the move and one that's had to change to accommodate my new location. Still super early though -- she's such a lark, that sister!