I like to stay in my box. It’s comfortable. And warm (well, lately it’s been very, very cold where I live, but you know what I mean) and safe. So when Josh and I tossed around the idea of going to Eliat for the weekend, I was inclined to say no. Of course I wanted to go visit the oldest son and hang out with him for the weekend. But doing so meant finding a place for four other kids to stay for Shabbat, trusting son #2 and 10 of his closest friends in our house for Shabbat, making sure son #4 got to two high school interviews on Sunday, and making sure the other kids all got to school. Oh and finding an AirBnB and driving both ways. That’s a lot of worries to have and arrangements to make.
We decided to wait for the weather update, and to go away if snow wasn’t in the forecast. With the no-snow predictions, I was both excited and exhausted before we even started. But sometimes we just have to push ourselves to do things outside of our typical everyday life; sometimes, I think, there is a benefit to giving the kids responsibilities they don’t usually have and to giving them a change of scene.
So we took our change of scene in Eilat and had a wonderful, relaxing time.
Four of our boys went to friends overnight for Shabbat (getting ready at our house and remembering their gifts for each family).
And…11 boys aged 17-18 took up residence in our house from Friday afternoon to Saturday night. Yep, 11.
I’m always amazed by these kids. First of all, they made all of their own food. They got permission to leave school Thursday night and to go to another house to cook. I heard some of them in our house late at night as well on Thursday night, and I awoke on Friday morning to a stuffed refrigerator. Completely stuffed, overflowing with delicious food they had made themselves. I made not one thing you see here…
They spent all of Shabbat in our house. They set the table and enjoyed both Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch themselves. They made all their beds, and then washed all of the sheets. They swept and mopped and left the house in perfect shape (including an adorable note they left on the refrigerator thanking us for the use of our house)!
Then, on Saturday night, all of son #2’s friends left and he was in charge of all of his brothers who returned to the house. He made sure they had dinner, got into bed on time and that two of them got up for school on time (with lunches). Son #4 had a very important day with two high school interviews and son #2 got him there – no problem.
I have no way of knowing if these are just run-of-the-mill behaviors to others – but I find them remarkable, and so impressive. I feel truly blessed that the kids rise to the challenge and take care of themselves, and each other, when we need them to do so. And that we challenge them to do so once in a while, as well, to help them along the way and define our expectations and goals.
So I say Thanks You to the boys, one and all!