Nearly every night of the week we have a few extra mouths at the house. Some time ago my husband started Steak Thursday. The basic premise is that everyone buys their own steak and brings it to the house for seasoning and cooking. We normally take care of the sides. This has come to be such a normal thing for us that when the kids aren’t over Yancey and I have no idea what to do. We just kind of sit around looking at one another until someone happens by.
We have been implementing a sort of supper schedule lately. Of course, there is Taco Tuesday. I mean, who doesn’t do this at this point? Everyone deserves a taco night once a week. We have added in pork chops, deer steak, burgers, hot dogs and a variety of other meals on different days. There is a running joke about the spaghetti in our house but that is another story…
This is our family time and I cherish it more than these kids can imagine. I’m asked daily how my day was and I’ve even trained a couple of them to say, “Oh, Ms. Amanda, you look so beautiful today.” It is hilarious watching this because they always whisper, “I don’t wanna get shot today,” right after they say this and smirk at Yancey.
They just don’t know. I’m sitting here in tears thinking about these hard working, rough and tumble, honest to God good kids that I have the honor of adopting into my life. Most of them have not had a perfect life but when they are with us they know they are loved and will be taken care of to the best of our ability.
Last night when I arrived home, our youngest, Bam met me at the door and said, “Here’s the red carpet for you!” while spreading his arms gallantly. “We gotta get steaks and I have two dollars!” This child is offering HIS money to help with supper. (Rest easy, jackrabbit, he kept his money.) Look at what he is learning though. He is watching these young adults come in and show kindness by asking about my day, helping Yancey with projects or Yancey helping them, and bringing their part of the meal or stopping for toilet paper or paper plates or whatever we need. He has some really wonderful role models to look up to in a day and age where kindness is seen as weakness.
During our discussion last night, Dakota was being a toot to DeRon and Devin asked why she was being mean to him. Just some regular teen drama that is expected and accepted for what it is in our household. I’m not even sure of her answer but her dad waved over the boys sitting in our kitchen, “Look good at these four young men, Dakota. These guys will be your best and worst friends for the next few years. They are going to find out who you are dating and steer you in the best direction because they know these boys around town; which ones are good and which ones are using you. They are going to come pick you up when you don’t listen to their advice and remind you that you are perfect and those boys are not worth your tears. They will come get you when Mom and I are busy with one of the other kids or at work. They will take you to Sonic and buy you a snack and make sure your tummy isn’t growling and help mend your broken heart. They are your brothers. Don’t take them for granted.”
I’m looking at the way our country’s youth is being portrayed in the media and seeing the entitled way they are behaving and then I look at these young people and realize there is a huge hope still out there. They work every day. They play hard. They love hard. They protect their loved ones with every ounce of life in them.
I can afford some food every night to make sure these kids can keep working hard and feeling loved. What I cannot afford is turning away a single person that needs us for whatever reason. Come on in and we can toss another handful of noodles in the pot or add a bit more broth to the soup.