Yesterday I read this post by my e-friend Jenny. In it she wonders out loud about snacking and asks why people feed kids at random times of the day- not only their own children, but other people's children who happen to be at their houses.
"Why do people want to randomly feed my children? I do not want to randomly feed their children. I do not want to randomly feed my own children. Why is this a thing?"
Right away I emailed Jenny and asked if she wouldn't mind me answering her question publicly because it was intriguing for me to consider those whys. It had never occurred to me, in fact, that someone wouldn't do those things, so it was an interesting thought exercise to say the least. After some consideration, I hit on two main reasons that we choose to manage a Casa de Neverending Snackos.
I've had no less than three separate conversations in the last week about hospitality, about our family specializing in enjoying having guests. Rarely a weekend goes by that doesn't involve someone(s) of some age(s) coming over for no reason. During the week, if you text me that you'll be passing my house and can you drop off that bag of hand-me-down baby clothes, I will say "We'll be here! Can you stay? I'd love to hang out and chat." And when you arrive I will offer you coffee or tea or ice water or hey, you can drink milk or juice too. Or a beer? You can have a beer if you want. I won't judge. And here...over here on the table...
Here are the snacks. Would you like a snack?
Part of my particular brand of hospitality includes food. Maybe there is a different way to do it, but I don't know what that way is. Entertaining people in our home is the perfect combination of my husband's (Quality Time) and my (Acts of Service) love languages. Throw Paul and his "Gifts" in there, and we've covered all the "please eat our food and relax for a bit" bases. So if your kids randomly come over, I will be randomly feeding them unless you expressly forbid me to do so because that is how I can show them my affection (in the same manner, I will also happily apply band aids to injuries and zip their jackets, yes, wipe their tiny bums if they request.) because to me they are our guests and in dweej-land, there is nothing better to offer a guest than food.
Secondly, and I'm wondering if this is the even bigger motivator, I want your kids to like me. Not just me, but being at our house. When I was younger, it was so nice to be at the houses where the moms chatted and joked and, yes, gave us snacks. It felt so warm and welcoming. I felt important and cared for and I'm guessing their own kids felt the same. Those were the moms who seemed to know what was going with their kids, in their lives and in their heads. They knew their friends' names and what was going on in their friends' lives, too. It seemed good and safe.
So come on in. Have a seat. Tell me what's going on in your life. Would you like a cheese stick?
p.s. Hey, I was interviewed on the Fountains of Carrots podcast and it went up on Tuesday. If you wanna check out my newly honed Michigander accent and see if you can catch my first hip hop reference before minute four, take a listen here. It was a super fun conversation to have!