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Full House

One of the best things about our house is the full-size basement. There’s plenty of room down there for rambunctious boys, and on most weekends our basement is full of them. Our second son, Justin, is Mr. Entertainment. He loves having his friends over, the more the merrier, and we don’t mind. In fact, I’ve begun thinking of his friends as “my boys who live in the basement.”

Some are more frequent boarders than others. The regulars include Jeremy, who loves to play the guitar and make up goofy songs to sing to our dog. There are two sets of brothers, Alex and Alan, and Blake and Bryce, who show up more during tennis and basketball seasons. There are two boys named Jesse, so to keep confusion to a minimum we call one Big Jesse and the other Little Jesse. Big Jesse is my older son’s friend and Little Jesse is a friend of my twins.

The first time Little Jesse spent the night with us I didn’t know his name. Imagine his mother’s surprise when she called to check on him and I told her he’d just left.

“Who picked him up?” she asked.

“His mom.”

“I’m his mom and I didn’t pick him up!”

Uh-oh. Wrong Jesse.

A funny thing happens when you have a herd of boys trooping through your house every weekend. You get attached to them and when they don’t show up, it just isn’t the same. I know it sounds crazy, but I actually like having a house full of kids.

My mom always encouraged me to bring my friends home. “That way I know where you are,” she’d say.

And that’s how I feel. Sometimes I wish I could lock them in the basement and keep them there until they’re 25 or so. But I can’t do that, so I’ll just continue to love them and pass out chips and soft drinks along with a lot of free advice.

“Wear your seatbelts. Don’t drive too fast and don’t ride with someone who does. Stay away from drugs and alcohol and girls who wear too much makeup and not enough clothes.”

This year I’ll probably put up two Christmas trees: one upstairs and one downstairs, for my boys who live in the basement.

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

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