Blog: Holiday Hosting

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Holiday Hosting - Tuesday, December 27, 2022
For the last four days, Aaron's family was staying at our place. The kids have two weeks of winter vacation, and Aaron and Lauren wanted to do a bit of sightseeing in the Bay Area and needed a place to crash.

The last few days have been tough for me and Priscilla (okay, mostly me). Ever since our last renter left over two years ago, we've been used to having privacy at home. We're definitely not used to having kids around, and anyone who's spent a day with young kids knows how demanding they can be. The kids are 5 and 2, respectively, and the older one seems to have become quite the extrovert (or maybe this is just a phase that most kids go through?). There have been lots of requests for hide and seek and other preschooler games, climbing on furniture, numerous questions about why things are the way they are, a certain metal toy being dropped repeatedly on the floor, some screaming and crying, and a couple pee and poo accidents. These are just normal things that parents have to constantly deal with, but for me, they've revealed how much I value order and control, how much I covet quiet and alone time, and how (inwardly) annoyed I get when those things are taken away. I've never really wanted kids of my own and maybe that's fine, but I think my reasons for it are pretty selfish. I need God to change my heart.

But there have been plenty of sweet times. Aaron and Lauren have tried to be good guests - they've cleaned up after themselves, and while Aaron and the niece have been sleeping in the gym room, he's moved the bedding in the morning so that I can use the gym room to work out. We all went out for a walk one night and that was a nice time. And the niece is beginning to demonstrate the ability to learn and understand things. She loves counting; Priscilla joked that maybe she'll be an accountant one day, and I've noticed that she has attention to detail, so maybe she'll be an auditor. She got pretty good at matching up the numbers on dominoes after I taught her how to play. And she had trouble with a metal puzzle until I showed her how to solve it, and then the next day, she was able to solve it on her own in a couple seconds. She also enjoyed spelling a bunch of words using the tiles from my Bananagrams game. Meanwhile, the nephew is a bit young to really understand anything, but he's starting to take behavior cues from those around him.

During their time here, Aaron family's managed to visit different places including the Willow Glen holiday lights, Christmas in the Park, and Pinnacles National Park. And they took the kids out a couple nights so that Priscilla and I could have some time to ourselves.

So it felt bittersweet when they left this morning. Originally, they had wanted to leave Monday or Tuesday in order to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park, but those plans fell through due to snow (a lot of the country is experiencing freezing temperatures right now). So they had then expressed the intent to stay with us until Thursday or Friday, but they ultimately left for Sacramento today because that made more sense for their travel plans, and because the kids were starting to get restless (more than usual). So while I'm definitely glad to have peace and quiet at home again, I will kind of miss having them around. I still don't really have a desire to have kids of my own, but I think I'm beginning to actually understand why most parents say that it's the best decision they've ever made.