Every day when I come home from work I glance around to see how many extra kids I have. I can quickly assess the situation by the number of shoes by the back door that don't belong to anyone in our household.
Sometimes there are lots of pairs and sometimes just one extra but no matter how many there are it makes me happy that they are there.
Michael has a group of guys and girls that I love having in my house. Hearing their laughter from the basement is one of the greatest sounds. Midnight Slurpee runs and stacks of pizza boxes in my garage remind me of all the great kids I am getting the privilege of knowing. Most of these kids I have known since they were in first grade, some we picked up in middle school and others are new from the summer baseball travel league. I love them all.
I am so lucky that I get to watch them grow up and mature(still waiting on that one...lol) and become young men and women. I have watched them struggle through French class and cry over break ups. They have built bonfires and in the process built bonds that will last a lifetime. They don't realize it yet but they are creating relationships that will sustain them over the years. These friendships are the forever kind no matter how far they all scatter when they graduate.
I look forward to watching them head out into the world, dancing at their weddings and seeing them become the great people that I know they can be.
So to all the kids with your shoes at my back door, I love you all and thank you for letting the Eller house be your second home.