expect to open your doors...

so in my series (that has seen more breaks than posts) about "what to expect when you are expecting a teenager" (remember that series that started at the beginning of may?)

our next expectation is to expect to open your doors...

and your pantry. and your fridge. and a new account at costco...

this is what we arrived home to after we left the beach house on sunday...

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an arrested development party in our family room. we were warned by millie that she had invited a few of her nearest and dearest friends over. and the cars lining the street seemed to tell a tale of teenagers sprawling throughout our house. and for ONCE they obliged me by letting me take a photo. ONLY because i was texting it to our friend tony hale who is actually IN arrested development. seems fame will get these kids to do things that regular moms can't achieve.

sunday nights have become movie nights (or television nights. or game nights.) at our house. and the number of participants is growing. and we don't mind at all. we have encouraged our introvert to ask friends over. and this year has seen a lot more faces showing up at our house. 

i guess all parents of teens don't HAVE to open their doors. but we have flung them open WIDE. i would MUCH rather have this group of kids all over my house, peering into the fridge, raiding the pantry, jumping on the trampoline, and swinging into trees in the back yard than to have them at a house where the parents aren't home. or don't have a nice selection of snacks and make the BEST stovetop popcorn EVER. 

i have truly enjoyed getting to know this group of kids. are they perfect? nope. do they thank us? sometimes. are they neat and clean and respectful? every now and then. but they are in my house. eating my food. watching arrested development (and sometimes playing disney scene-it... though they may not admit to that.) and i have this one season to love on them. and feed them. and make them feel important. because they are important to my daughter. and therefore they are important to me.

so perfect one good teen recipe (ours is stovetop popcorn). renew your costco card. find room on the couch. and open your doors. it is a short season. a messy, crowded, lots of plastic bottle left around and popcorn kernels on the floor season... but it is just a season. and i would hate to have missed it.