Aaron has a gift with people. Some would call it hospitality. He "comes by it honestly" as my parents would say. His grandfather was a Mennonite preacher. He and his wife had six children, and often had a variety of other people in their home as well, some for a night, others for months at a time. Aaron will often call me, "There's this couple...." he will say, and I know I'm about to be involved in his gift. I do my best to go along with it, but I am not always thrilled. Usually, he drags me along with him anyhow. Not that I dislike people. The other night we had a houseful for a birthday party and I loved it. I loved being surrounded by friends. I like taking care of people, feeding people, talking to people. It's the unplanned that I have trouble with, and Aaron is one of the most spontaneous men created, I am sure.
His sponaneity comes in many forms. Once it came as us knocking on a neighbor's door to welcome them when we were supposed to be going to Wal-Mart. Another time, it was a homeless couple who lived in our basement for three weeks. Often, Aaron will tell me something like, "Oh, by the way, I told this guy we'd make him dinner cuz his wife just had a baby three weeks ago. I said we'd bring it tomorrow night."
Tonight, as a result of Aaron's friendly and hospitable nature, a neighbor kid from down the street was playing basketball in our backyard. Meanwhile, I was making a meal for the people with the baby (yes, that part was based on a true story). I was also trying to take care of Simeon, and get ready to go out with my sister-in-law. In the midst of it all, Malachi whacks Andrew (that's the nighbor kid) in the face with a plastic sword, giving him a bloody nose, a sore eye, and a slightly wiggly tooth. Then he lies and says that Izzy did it. He was in BIG TROUBLE. Although, I do have to somewhat abashedly admit that I was a tiny bit impressed that my four and a half year old could take out an eleven year old. I mean, of course, it was wrong. But I feel safer knowing he can take care of himself in that way. You know, if he really needed to.
Anyway, Aaron parked Malachi on the couch to await his judgement while he went down the street to talk to Andrew's mom. I was very thankful that it was Aaron and not me doing that part because since I was the baby of my family and never whacked anyone with a sword, and I therefore have no experience with what a parent does when that happens. Aaron, however, being the oldest of three brothers, has tons of experience. Then the kid came back with Aaron and sat in our kitchen while we finished making dinner for the people. I was a little miffed because it meant I would not get to talk to Aaron before he left to take the food, and then I'd be leaving not long after he got back.
I know it is good for me to have my "best laid plans" disrupted, but sometimes it makes me just want to stamp my foot on the ground and huff and puff. My kids do it all the time. It's really not fair that I can't do it too. I guess that's all part of being a "grown-up".