There is always a person in every group who, when reflecting upon his childhood, says, “my house was THE one that everyone always hung out in.” Usually, it is said in a way as to imply that the family had a quality that we should admire – warmth, openness, wealth, largess… But really, if every person who has ever said this to me really did have “that” house, there wouldn’t be enough other people left to fill it.
Nevertheless, this conversation always causes a twinge of jealousy. It either means that they had a nice, big house – which I did not, easy-going parents – which I did not, money to spend on toys, gadgets or snacks-which I did not. Or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a fully dysfunctional family in which the parents were never home, didn’t care, or shared alcohol or other substances willingly with their teenage children. Again, not so much.
For me, as a Mom, it would mean that I have made a comfortable home, full of whatever my children and their friends need and want. I frequently redecorate, shop for snacks and open the door to welcome in anyone in who might want to come. In fact, I rarely even lock the door inviting in just about anyone or anything. It has only worked on a few occasions and I have enjoyed a house full of content children. However, as of yet, we are not THE house everyone wants to hang out in. This is likely due in part to the fact that one child really doesn’t like too many visitors. She is terrified of people thinking we are weird because the other child is always having therapy. The other child would invite over anyone who breathes, but can’t because he is always having therapy.
While it seems as though I won’t be able to alter the trajectory on “the house” thing, for some reason, our tiny hotel room the one that the boys here want to hang out in. Max has attracted some new friends – a few boys who also have CP and the non-disabled brothers of girls who have CP. They seem to love Max and the odds and ends we brought with us. The decor is purely Homewood Suites and the snacks are not nearly plentiful, but everyday from around 4-7 pm, I get to pretend that I too am someone who has “the house.”
Maybe it doesn’t even matter that “the house” is just “a room.” Someday, at a cocktail party, Max too will be able to boast that his was the “room” everyone always wanted to hang out in!