Who Are These People?! (Friday Night Details, part 3)

This is the third of a series of posts that explain the details and the how and why we do Friday Nights. You can read the backstory herepart 1 here, and part 2 here.

Who Are These People?!

So who actually comes to Friday Nights?

Well, that’s both easy and difficult to explain. We have our regulars…those that come nearly every week. We have semi-regulars…those who only come once or twice a month. We have the not-so-regulars…those who only come a few times a year. And we have new people or those who have only come once.

Including our family, there are half a dozen families that are regulars. Three of these families have been coming from day one and continue to help Brandy and I put it on. The Whites, Coombs and the Grunaus never agreed to produce this event on a weekly basis, but they’ve been faithful in their help none-the-less! In times where either Brandy or I have had to be gone during a Friday night, these families have stepped in to cover the slack. We love these couples and their children immensely!

Aside from these regulars, we’ve noticed there are four special groups of people that tend to REALLY be attracted to our Friday Night community.

1) Large Families

We have a large family. As a result, we never get invited anywhere! When you invite us over, eight people show up…with a service dog. We’re loud, busy, confusing…and eight is just a lot for dinner. It’s like this for many large families. You never get invited anywhere.

So here we are…a big family, inviting your big family.

It allows parents to sit and eat and chat with other adults and not have to worry what the kids are doing (another post on that later). Many people who come have large families…so large families always feel welcome.

If this is you, you are welcome here.

cropped-Freeland-Family.jpg

2) Special Needs Families

Two of our children have special needs. They can be a challenge every day. If it’s not our large family that deters you from inviting us over, it might be our loud, never-stops-moving, child with autism and her accompanying service dog. Or maybe not being able to talk with my wife who is on constant surveillance of said special child.

Having special needs kids can be incredibly hard. Try taking a kid out to dinner that randomly screams, is confined to a large wheelchair, or has unusual looking movements or limb differences. It attracts unwanted attention and sometime invokes a feeling of guilt or dismay when you cannot control your child in public. Special needs kids are tough. Not just for mom and dad, but the siblings also.

At Friday Nights…we all understand this because many of us are THOSE people. On some nights there is that screaming child, the non-verbal child in a wheelchair, the adult brother who struggles with motor control, the child that finds every unlocked door to run away…and no one bats an eye because that is our normal here. It’s beautiful really.

We ARE those families.

We LIKE those families.

If this is you, you are welcome here.

special needs sign

3) Single Parents

Single moms, single dads…you might get the offer to go out more often than the groups above…it’s just that you typically can’t go! You have a kid or two or three at home you have to be with. So you never go out either.

Friday Nights allows single parents that opportunity. You can bring your child…we kind of expect that actually…let them have their fun and you can participate in adult conversation.

It’s a free night out!

If this is you, you are welcome here.

parental stress and raising autistic child

4) Our Children’s Friends

One of the more fascinating groups we didn’t expect to attend Friday Nights is the parents of our kid’s friends. Our teenagers rave about Friday Nights to their friends at school and invite them all, including their teachers! So when their friends come, their parents often show up too. So quite often, when their parents show up for the first time, it’s our first time meeting them! We love this because it truly starts to create community with random groups of people who otherwise would never meet.

If this is you, you are welcome here.

Lastly, we’ve noticed that friends will bring friends and family with them. One couple came with their family…they were from New Zealand. We have had people from Madera, Merced, Coarsegold, North Fork, Kingsburg, and Reedley.

If you can drive to our house, you are welcome here!

We have always said that Friday Nights is open to anyone and everyone. We mean that! Life is just hard. Whether you can’t keep track of all your kids or your kid is screaming at the top of his lungs or you just need a break from your kid…Friday’s is for you!

It’s Friday Night…where ya going?

One thought on “Who Are These People?! (Friday Night Details, part 3)

  1. Pingback: Links to all parts of Friday Night Details | Abstract Ramblings

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