A couple months ago Max started hanging out with some new kids from school. (A few junior high schools feed into his high school so there are a ton of new faces which he has sure enjoyed.)
There was one house in particular that seemed to be hosting a whole bunch of gatherings. It seemed to be the place where kids found themselves on half days and for random get-togethers so I decided I better be the one to drop Max off so I could get a feel for what was going on there.
We know the girl's relatives (the one doing the inviting) and have heard really nice things about her family so it wasn't that I was worried about Max's safety or anything like that. I was simply curious about what was attracting all these kids to this one particular house. I had a preconceived notion it would be a mansion...the kind with a sport court and massive pool or even a movie theater in the basement. After all, those are the kinds of homes that I assume attract hoards of teenagers. (That's the kind of home Dave and I used to dream of having when our kids became teenagers so that we could keep them close and get to know their friends well...we've kind of changed our minds on that a little bit but that's a story for another day.)
So I was surprised to drive into a very normal neighborhood lined with regular-sized homes. As I peered into the living room from the front door I saw that it was no bigger than ours, and was packed with teenagers all apparently having a great time. I realized that the cute girl with big personality doing the inviting was the draw, not some big, fancy house. (Although her house was very nice, but you get what I mean).
The reason I tell this story is because it's made me think ever since about "gatherers" and whether we have any in our family.
Dave and I are not really what I would call "gatherers." We're not generally the idea-generators who invite a bunch of people to do things. We are lucky to have really, really nice "gathering" friends who include us in fun things and we are generally so busy trying to stay afloat with our family that we don't branch out that much aside from that. Elle and Max it seems have taken after us. They mostly gather at their "gathering" friends houses which makes me sad and glad at the same time (which my fifteen minute time allotment won't allow me to go into right now :) They used to gather here all the time, so maybe "gathering" comes and goes in phases but I just don't think they are the host-a-big-huge-party types.
I have recently discovered that Grace, on the other hand, is a "gatherer" through and through. She would host parties every night if she could. I generally say no because by the weekend we are tired and have other things going on, but a couple weeks ago when Dave was out of town she begged to invite some friends over to swim and play games and I figured what the heck.
It was so fun to watch Grace in her element as she entertained her friends. I came to the realization that I need to let her do her "gathering" thing more often. She's good at it.
I just think it's so interesting to take note of how very different each of my children are.
Just some things I've been thinking about lately.