Guest Sons

Facebook has added a “Thankful” button to its gallery of Likes.  It’s Mother’s Day, and the timing is perfect. I could click that thing all day long. My mom has overcome a series of serious illnesses and is doing well, and so are my sons.

But I am also thankful for Guest Sons. I have a number of them, boys who came into my life after school and on weekends. Who played video games and swam in the community pool and ate whatever I served (pizza or lasagna or shepherd’s pie). They belched and cracked jokes and laughed. Oh, how they laughed.

From Nathan's era, here are Guest Sons Nathan, Tyler, Luke, and Sean

Here is Nathan with “Guest Sons” Tyler, Luke, and Sean. Their beloved choir director made them form a quartet, and he coached them. They sounded great!

“Mom, you should make shepherd’s pie for Stephen.” I heard this several years ago, when Nathan’s pal Stephen was on leave from the Navy. “He loves your cooking,” Nathan added. Excuse me, my cooking? I am a utility cook, flinging out meals on a skinflint budget. Surely Stephen was mistaken!  But I got busy in the kitchen just the same.

Michael with Will

Michael with “Guest Son” Will (Photo: Sue Blackwell)

It’s not that these Guest Sons were ungrateful–no hungry teen ever is. It’s just that I never realized how much they enjoyed hanging out at our place. Nothing special was offered. The boys’ shared bedroom was cramped at best–especially with all those scrounged TVs in there. Through the closed door I could hear hooting and hollering as they played Super Smash Brothers Melee for hours.

Hospitality, not entertainment, was all I had to offer. An open door. And in they came. Now I miss having them around.

Ben (center, flanked by brothers) and Guest Sons Sam, Tyler, Ryan, and Brent

Ben (center, flanked by brothers Nathan and Michael) and “Guest Sons” Sam, Tyler, Ryan, and Brent (Alexandra Grace Photography)

What I gave to them was Guy Time. Apparently that was what they needed most. This scene, from Susan Elizabeth Phillips‘ Match Me If You Can, captures the feel of those days at our apartment. Yeah, she gets it.

When did my house turn into a hangout for every grossly overpaid, terminally pampered professional football player in northern Illinois?”

“We like it here,” Jason said. “It reminds us of home.”

“Plus, no women around.” Leandro Collins, the Bears’ first-string tight end emerged from the office munching on a bag of chips. “There’s times when you need a rest from the ladies.”

Annabelle shot out her arm and smacked him in the side of the head. “Don’t forget who you’re talking to.”

Leandro had a short fuse, and he’d been known to take out a ref here and there when he didn’t like a call, but the tight end merely rubbed the side of his head and grimaced. “Just like my mama.”

“Mine, too,” Tremaine said with happy nod.

Annabelle spun on Heath. “Their mother! I’m thirty-one years old, and I remind them of their mothers.”

“You act like my mother,” Sean pointed out, unwisely as it transpired, because he got a swat in the head next.

Do you have Guest Sons and Guest Daughters? Know that you are loved by them as well. Happy Mother’s Day!

Laura Hile (1)

Wedding photo: Alexandra Grace Photography

9 thoughts on “Guest Sons

  1. Gayle Mills

    Guest sons. Great way to describe these men children who always seem to congregate at the homes of friends that open their doors to them. Swimming, playing lazer tag, riding four-wheelers… the more the merrier. And some of them, in recent years, have taken the time to send me messages. It always amazes me to hear their versions of what it was like when they were here as guest sons. I’m so thankful for each one of them — for their friendship to my son and for their sharing moments of their childhood with me. (I had lots of guest daughters, too!)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Laura Hile

      Teen guys are the easiest of guests (if you don’t mind the noise and mess they generate). Is the house cluttered? Not freshly vacuumed or dusted? They won’t notice. Not at all.

      Girls have the reputation for giggling and chattering nonstop. Uh-uh. Guys, when left to themselves to play video games, beat a group of girls hands-down. Talking, squealing, laughing. What a hoot.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Robin Helm

        I wouldn’t trade my daughters for sons, but we should have had more children. Two is not enough now – especially when they live so far away.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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