When my girls were teens, our house was not THE place to be. We didn't have a gaming system, pool table, or game room, etc - All of which were the "in" items among Jennifer's friends. Jennifer also did not like me (at times, I wasn't overly fond of her either) and so she didn't spend a lot of her time at the house with her friends over. There were times when she did though and one of them is like family now. Valerie, on the other hand, seemed to be 50-50 with this. I got to know most of her friends and they became part of the family. It got to be quiet at times in the house when no child at all was home.
Off to college, Jennifer went and when she came home she brought boyfriend and dog and sometimes a friend too. Since the two (boyfriend and Jennifer LOL) aren't married they do not sleep in the same room. SO that left Jennifer on the couch with the dog. Valerie always had someone (or two) spending the night so it was a busy place here. Noise was above what I was used to and so was the clutter of belongings. I felt like I had "company" in my house and I had to do this and that but that stopped fast when I realized, heck, it was my own kids!
Fast forward to Valerie in college now...we have just Mark, the cat and me in the house. So quiet. So peaceful. So oddly weird. So boring. So blah. So relaxing. You get the drift. Once a month we make the trip to pick up Valerie for a long weekend here and there and it's back to a houseful of kids. Valerie usually will have anywhere from one to three friends over and staying most of the time she is home. They go back and forth between the houses and I never know how many will be at mealtimes so I usually tell them what is for dinner and they will tell me if they will be here. Or I order pizza OR they make tacos. Sometimes they tell us they are eating elsewhere. It works out one way or another.
Now this Christmas break, I have had Jennifer, boyfriend, dog, Valerie, and 3 of her friends here ALL. THE. TIME. I am SO looking for that quiet, peace, relaxing and alone time. I can't stand the clutter, this and that out place. I am not, by any means, OCD, BUT..it is driving me crazy. They are HOME so yes they should feel like they can BE at home. Their rooms are cluttered just as if they were still living here...floor is barely there with all the stuff over it. Doors are nice to close, aren't they. They use dishes for everything and yes, they do put them in the sink. They do help in the kitchen at times. In fact, Jennifer and bf are cooking dinner tomorrow night. The dog will chew on things when left alone in the house for too long...good thing nothing he chewed on was mine! The cat and the dog do not like each other so Belle stays upstairs most of the time.
I look back and wonder if my house was one the places all the kids hung out if now I wouldn't care about the clutter, etc. I don't know and I am not stressing over it either. I know just as soon as next week comes and they ALL go back to college/their houses I will be missing them all like crazy. The clutter included. Well, maybe not the clutter.
My house will go back to quiet moments, and I will be thinking ahead to the next time they are all here.