Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lessons for my children: Hospitality

There are two German teenagers' rucksacks in Jackson's room right now. They recently graduated from high school and are traveling the world before "university." Kenny met Florian at the ski bike festival in Durango. He was interning for Devin Lenz, who I met last year and is a great guy (he let me ride one of his ski bikes all day). Kenny made the off-hand comment while they were ski-biking, "hey, if you are ever in San Diego you have a place to stay." I am not sure if Kenny realized that Europeans take that as more than being polite and will take you up on it. Less than a month later, he and his buddy are flopping at our place.

It makes me feel good. These guys are just kids. If Jackson is ever traveling through Europe someday, I hope he runs into people who take him in like we have these two "boys." [as a side note--- I am feeling incredibly old when I refer to 18-year-olds as 'boys,' but Kenny and I dated in college a year before they were born.] I hope that Jackson remembers how his parents opened their homes to people and fed them and lent them our snorkel equipment to enjoy the San Diego ocean.

It is a shame that I had slight pause about letting complete strangers in my home around my children. On one hand, it is my job to protect them and make sure that they are never in harm's way and we really didn't know these guys. On the other hand, I wish we could completely trust everyone we come across. It turns out that they are completely harmless. The worst thing that they have done is left a sandwich in their bag that Buddy got a hold of and made quite a mess. I had to take Jackson to school this morning, leaving them alone in our home. When I returned, they had left for the day and all was well. The laptop, iPod and other easy-to-swipe items were all here.

I have found myself lately thinking about what I do and what lesson it might teach my children. I am nowhere near perfect and I want them to learn from my imperfection. I want them to become good people by learning from my mistakes as much as from following my lead. Luckily, in this case they can learn that hospitality is a good thing.

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