Middle (and Little) threw together an impromptu party tonight for their friends from the dojang. As a result, we had somewhere between 10 and 15 young Ninjas eating, playing, dancing, and watching movies here - a treat as always.
Several of the parents hung out as well. We always have a good time together - always plenty to talk about, always a lot of laughs. They're good people, happy, friendly, easy to get along with. We're blessed to have them in our lives, blessed to have the wisdom and humor of both our karate Master and his wife in our social circle, blessed that my kids have adopted another of these friends as their honorary "Aunt," blessed to have known yet another for 9 years now and still be close and comfortable friends - despite the fluctuating closeness of our kids' friendships with each other as they branch out in different directions.
I worked on my rug hooking project while we sat around the table together, snacking on my friend's amazing homemade guacamole and enjoying each other's company late into the evening. The kids were great as usual - singing, dancing, making up games, then settling down for a movie together. They have their little dramas between them, but for the most part every one of them is Good Kid through and through. The older kids (7-11th grade) are welcoming and kind to the younger ones (3-5th grade), and the younger ones don't seem to need to annoy the older ones. There's a good mix of girls and boys, and it's a safe atmosphere for them to learn about their similarities and differences, especially the ones in middle and high school who are starting to think about dating relationships.
When kids are good like that; when they know the limits and have freedom to play and be themselves and have fun within those limits, the adults can relax and enjoy their own social time. It's an expectation, and a value, we all share, and thankfully, with this group of kids, it works.
Now that everyone's gone, I'm tired and my back aches from spending hours this morning rotary- cutting wool into shoelace-sized strips. How something like that can cause more pain than being repeatedly thrown on the mat or doing a thousand burpees amazes me.
I'll look forward to getting back to the bodily abuse I'm more familiar with on Monday. For now, I'm glad that these friends we see every day of the week also want to be with together on Friday and Saturday nights as well.
We are truly blessed.