Friday, December 15, 2006

Our Family Circle: Thursday Nights with Friends

Remember when everyone held Survivor parties to watch the TV show? My closest friends still do that. They're absolutely nuts over the show. For years now, they've met for dinner and Survivor viewing. We joined them a few years ago, but this year, our child has refused to sleep at their house. I think she gets too excited about being in the same room/house as her best friends, who are in many ways, like siblings or cousins for her.

This year, someone proposed eating out before Survivor. That allowed us to participate without staying - and for us, the draw was always the fellowship of friends. But with six children and 10 adults, we easily took over any restaurant we visited. So, one couple decided to just have us over for simple meals, like Tacos (who doesn't like Tacos!) or lasagna. We all bring something to the table. For taco night, we brought lettuce. Another friend brought rice. The host is still contributing most of the food, but we'll wear her down eventually and it'll become more equitable.

Our children span 12 years, but they enjoy hanging out, laughing, fighting, tattling on one another. We enjoy a slow dinner together, with lots of talking and laughing.

Many of us have been friends since college. Since then, we've expanded our circle to include spouses, siblings, and now children. They're not just my friends. They're my family's friends.

I'm so grateful for them. But I know it can be very difficult to find families that really click with your family, who share your values, your sense of humor and gracefully ignore most of your quirks.

I'd be interested in hearing how other families have created family friendships.
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