For most, the hiatus of Christmas and New Year brings the opportunity for hosting and hospitality. Time is spent in other peoples’ houses, whether it’s family or friends or even people you don’t know very well, but someone in the family does!
We’ve been so thankful for the generous hospitality of friends and family over the last few weeks. It feels a little like our hiatus has continued, as we returned to our kind hosting friends’ home after Christmas and are preparing to move to Leeds next week, where we’ll start off with grandparents.
While we’ve been filling bedrooms in other peoples’ houses, we’ve also had our feet under kitchen tables here, there and everywhere. We’re grateful for friends feeding us again and again, even when it means dealing with a food-throwing one year old and a sometimes carpeted floor!
It’s a privilege to eat meals with people, to have company, and to be looked after so well. We love that the boys are having to engage with people all the time, and have grown in confidence (as well as expectations that we should always be eating food with other people there!).
Amidst ongoing hiatus, it’s hard to re-establish habits of home. The routines that have shaped our days up until now are haphazard, rather than a given. Playing, tidying, napping, bedtime-ing…all the same but also different. Different contexts, different participants, different expectations. Sometimes I find it challenging, and other times I find it free-ing. I wonder where it will all come to rest when we move into our own flat. In someways, I am eager to regain that element of control, but I think it’s been good for me to lose that control and realise that there are more important things than whether naps happen or bedtimes are stuck to. Even if it means a grumpy boy or two in the afternoon.
Having said that, please don’t think haphazard rules the day! I love it when it all goes to plan, and have to battle the angst when it doesn’t. It’s just that running with the shifting sands of our life right now means relaxing into it.
But also clinging to the consistency of the boys having us here – home isn’t the habits, but the people. And we’re so glad to be all in one place.