I am a high school teacher, and I often look out on my students and am overwhelmed by how hard they work and how serious are the struggles with which they are dealing. I often tell them something like, “You guys are awesome. Look at you!” And they smile.
I have always told my husband that I have a strategy for keeping our kids safe when they are teenagers. My strategy is this: I am going to keep my home chock full of comfy couches, yummy food, and a welcoming spirit. My goal is to provide such a warm home that when my kids and their buddies are wondering what to do that night, and are choosing from an entire spectrum of largely questionable choices… one of my kids might mention that their mama is making a pot roast and cookies and OF COURSE ALL YOUR FRIENDS CAN COME OVER!
Naive? Maybe. But I spent most of my high school years NOT getting into trouble because I had a place I would rather be. One of my best friend’s parents created a home that was so loving and inviting that it was just the place my little friend group always wanted to be.
Tonight, my beautiful friend sent me this blog post by Cup of Jo. Man, did it get me thinking. Creating a haven for my children doesn’t start when they hit the teenage years. It was a beautiful reminder that even though little ones don’t choose where to spend their evenings, they are equally in need of a home that is a place of comfort and love. A place they would choose to be.
One of the other things that spoke to me in Jo’s post is the concept of making evenings special. Light candles, slow down, giggle and snuggle and read…. there are little things we can all implement to make our home a refuge and a soft place for our children. And for ourselves!
If any of you have rituals to add to the list, please share!