1) It's their house.
2) Talk frequently and often about everything having to do with being guest/housemates.
3) Have fun!
Rule #1 is pretty obvious, but how it applies isn't. Ron and Dannielle (and Xena and I, too) wanted to have the "groundrules" talk ASAP, but it didn't happen until last night. We'd pretty much stomped all over Ron by then. Sorry, dude.
They were real gentle and gracious. They spoke their concerns, and listened without judging. They also backed up and restated their concerns for me as often as needed, because after permaculture class and everything else, my bandwidth was pretty narrow! The main point seemed to be that my lack of a plan for the children's day-to-day needs was upsetting. I've gotten used to my kids being very self-suficient, and I'm processing so much stuff myself, that I didn't really consider that in unfamiliar territory, they might not be able to find food.
Of course, they'll eat if someone makes food, and so Ron was making food. So they would get fed. Makes perfect sense after the fact, and he totally gets why I spaced on it, but I went straight out and got some familiar food.
The part of the conversation that really sits funny with me is the perception that we've been here two weeks. Perception makes reality, they say, so I'll not argue with my very gracious friends: I'll simply note that our buzy-ness and fractured lives are hard on people who live in their own orderliness. Noted, and action must be taken: It's time to move on.
Xena and Nicholas have gone over to her friend Linda's for a couple of days. She has a daughter Nick's age, who used to be a classmate. They'll probably have some fun. I certainly would have, at twelve, staying at a girl's home.
Nick looked really good this afternoon. He picked up two boxes of See's chocolate, for the candy drive/fundraiser to go to outdoor education, and he sold all 48 bars at his friend Conner's ballgame! This, after worrying all Spring Break about whether he was going to be able to do any fundraising. The compressed-ness was still in his body, but there was a real cheer to his step and in his face.
Xena will take the kids camping this weekend. We are people who get recharged by nature, so they should be quite good by the end of the weekend. Perhaps we'll have a few dollars and can get a weekly-rate motel room then.