I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Something I'm grateful for this week: hospitality. We recently welcomed a family into our home who are considering moving from Perth to Melbourne.  We had the parents to dinner a few months ago, when DH got asked if we could host them for dinner. They came on a fact finding mission to decide if this was where they wanted to move to - and now having made the choice, they brought their daughter with them to look at schools and properties. We had them to dinner again so their DD could meet ours (they are only 8 days apart!). We had a lovely evening and the entire family was really very grateful that we welcomed them.

The Mum in particular thanked me effusively, saying that we were really wonderful for welcoming virtual strangers into our home and that she was impressed that our kids were so willing to include a child they did not know. She asked if this was something we actively taught them, or if it's just their nature. The answer is that it's probably a bit of both, but it's also very much a case of the old "do unto others as you would have done unto you," concept. DH and I have been extremely fortunate to have travelled all over the world, and everywhere we have gone we've managed to be welcomed into someone's home. The hospitality extended to us from places near (Sydney) and far (the US, Europe and so on) has been really wonderful and it's a great joy of ours to extend that same hospitality to people in our own home. That these people were basically strangers to us makes no difference at all - we welcomed them with open arms.

Over the years I've hosted and been hosted by all sorts of people, from all sorts of meeting points. I've met readers of this blog on two continents - and in one case met their kids, partners, and spent time in their homes. I've met friends from online parenting groups in 3 different countries. I've had dinner with the partners and children of business colleagues. I recently got invited to spend a week in Canada with a work colleague I've only ever spoken to on the phone. In short, lots of people have welcomed me and so I've welcomed lots of people. It is part of our religious culture as a whole to do so, but it's something that we as a family have embraced wholeheartedly. Someone recently asked me if it's expensive, feeding extra people every week - because of course we've got to account for more mouths to fill. The truth of it is that I don't even notice the extra expense, I really don't. I would much rather spend my money on an extra steak or some nice post-dinner nibbles than I would on almost anything else. Sharing food with friends or strangers might cost more financially but spiritually it's a damn good return on investment.

Extending hospitality isn't always about a once-in-a-while experience. I've got a friend who for the past 2 years has had dinner at our house once a week. The kids have negotiated with her to bring dessert each week, and it's now become a tradition which none of us like to miss. We welcome her into our home every week (even without the dessert!) and it's as much a part of the fabric of our week as going to work or going to school. It's just "what we do." Both DH and I (but especially DH) grew up in families who entertained quite a lot - the sharing of love, time, food and good company have been a part of our lives for as long as either of us can remember. It's no wonder then that we create that same welcome environment in our own home. My kids will often ask me, "Who is coming to dinner this week?" and will almost be a little disappointed if I say that it's just the five of us. I'm hoping that's because they too like to share and not because DH and I are boring to hang out with! :)

Have you welcomed anyone into your home recently? An old friend, a new friend, a total stranger? Oh, and are you free on Friday night?

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