For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Full House

Since the moment we moved into this house it has been full with people.
Of course my Mum, my clan-children and their partners came over to stay, but apart from them there have been guests practically every night.
I can remember thinking, after we first had a look inside this house, ah well, it's not as if we still have loads and loads of people staying over all the time, like in the 'old times'. We did get ourselves a caravan, just in case we had people coming over in summer. And we thought we'd manage with just the three bedrooms, because AL had made it quite clear that she definitely didn't want to move back in with us.
And here we are, not even two months after moving in. Not only have both Owen and Myrna had friends sleeping over constantly, but AL has decided she doesn't want to find a place of her own yet, so she is moving back in with us when the contract on the temporary house runs out.
Which is fine, of course. Well, in a way. I am very much aware of how her present lifestyle has kind of moved away from our family way of living. So it'll take a bit of adapting on both sides. But mostly on hers, I'm afraid.
I can vividly remember coming back to live in the parental home after having moved out when I was sixteen (and went to live in Spain). It wasn't easy and it must have been hell on my parents, because I wasn't trying to make it easy either. I guess it's pay back time, then ;).
The other thing is that our family seems to have expanded in a more or less organic way. It happens in this household, every now and then. Not only has a third cat - a lovely big ginger named Mr. Mushu - joined our ranks, but there's this young boy, 12 years of age, - let's call him Remi - who has crossed our path and conquered a place in our hearts and home. His is a bit of a complicated story, but let's just say that he was very much in need of some mothering energy and a homely environment, and we have an abundance of that. So he came here with his little rucksack a couple of weeks ago and now lives in the conservatory. Every once in a while he goes back home for one or two nights, but then he phones to ask if he can come back to us.
The challenge is that we'd planned to put AL up in the conservatory. She panicked slightly when she found Remi had taken that space. But I reassured her that there would be a place for both of them. How, I don't know yet. As usual, I'm relying on CSC for the right solution at the right time and meanwhile I'm doing some serious thinking.
Weird, isn't it, that the moment we think it's not a problem to live in a smaller house because surely we're past the stage where we need a huge house with many rooms, these things happen. I wonder what lesson is in it. It's obviously got to do with choice. But then, everything in life is about choosing.
The point is that I am truly truly enjoying this Full House here. I love to be able to give Remi a feeling of being appreciated, wanted, loved and I also love the fact that my children's teenager friends feel at home here. Including the not so teenager anymore friends of AL.
A few years ago one of my clan-children nicknamed me MOM, which is an abbreviation for Mother Of Many. I consider it an honorary title and am very, very proud of it. And in spite of all the mess and noise, in spite of regularly cooking for eight to twelve people, in spite of not being able to find the time - let alone the space - to do my work, in spite of feeling very old and tired at the end of one of those hectic days, in spite of all that I still feel so incredibly happy being a MOM.
I suppose it just suits me down to the ground.


Gill said...
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Gill said...

"everything in life is about choosing"

Yes, thanks for the reminder! I keep forgetting that.

Funny how houses - or the space in them - can keep expanding to fit requirements.

Mieke said...

Yes Gill, or as a friend pointed out to me: If the heart is big enough the size of the house doesn't really matter...

Gill said...

True! And the car boot, for decluttering..! :-)
(Ours has to be v.big for that, LOL)

Mieke said...

Absolutely!! Car boot size is imperative with the heaps and heaps of shopping to keep all those bottomless stomachs filled. Can't believe what these teenagers put away, gasp, shock! Car itself is imperative, for that matter. I don't feel bad for the environment having a car, coz if I'd do all my shopping by bus they'd have to put extra busses on! And I couldn't use my durable reusable foldy-up crates on the bus.

Gill said...

LOL yes, when feeding (and transporting) so many people, you need your own bus!

Mieke said...

Well, we do have our own bus! Look at my beloved Old Faithful! (Can't get link to work, but it's on
(In Dutch the word for 'bus' and 'van' is the same, they're both called 'bus'.)

Gill said...

LOL, so you do! He looks great :-) How many seats?

We've got an old Espace, which is very reliable - so far! We took the middle seat out to make a bit more room, so now we have one seat each - just! Very little boot space though actually, unless we remove some seats.

Mieke said...

Three seats in the front, at least four in the back and then of course loads and loads of 'boot' space, that holds two dog kennels and stacks of other stuff, doubles as a mobile kitchen when we go camping, served as sleepover place for three giggling girls, and so forth and so forth. He's a very dear and indispensable part of our family. I was going to pension him off, and let our Nissan take over, but we've had to scrap the Nissan and the - very old - Rover that we bought - for very little money - has a leaking sunroof, so Old Faithful is back on full duty. And enjoying it, from the sound of him!

Gill said...

Aw, he sounds like a great vehicle! And well-named :-)

'EF' x said...

Oh I would like to have an abundance of mothering energy to give.

We have a VW nine seater, very old now and costs us everything we ridiculous what the repairs cost, but we cannot dump her! We lived in her for a bit last summer and she brought us here. We also know we could live in her again if we needed to.

Lovely to hear about your full house, and Remi sounds very special. x

Mieke said...

Aw, a VW nine seater! Old Faithful had an affair with one when he was younger. They met at a camping weekend and they were very close. Unfortunately I don't have pictures, but they looked lovely together!

And yes, Remi is very very special and I'm having a hard time trying not to get too attached...