I wanted to share a heartwarming story with you about how I have created a safe and welcoming space for my teen son and his friends at home. You see I myself was lucky enough to have parents who treated my friends like family when I was growing up. They opened their doors, fed us, and genuinely cared about our well-being. Looking back, I now realize what a precious gift that was.
As a mom myself, I wanted to foster healthy relationships for my son and his friends. I noticed they loved going on long walks, hanging out for hours, and often ended up hungry, searching for snacks. So, I produced a brilliant idea—I opened my home to them. I told my son that anytime they were out and feeling hungry, they could give me a shout, and I would cook up a storm for them. And that is how it all began… Now, my son’s friends frequently come over, enjoy delicious meals, and sometimes even stay overnight. Lately, my boy has developed a passion for baking, and he has been baking cookies for everyone. It is adorable to see them cooking in my kitchen, making themselves right at home.
I love the fact that my son and his friends feel comfortable opening the fridge and drawers for snacks. This back in my day was not the same. But I am grateful to be able to provide this welcoming environment for them. You see, we are all about breaking cultural barriers too—my son’s friends love rice and beans, and they are thrilled when I make pasta with red sauce and grated cheese. It is all about embracing their diverse backgrounds and making them feel at ease.
With food as the centerpiece, they have bonded over music, singing karaoke, playing board games, and having heart-to-heart chats about life. I genuinely hope my house becomes a haven for them to be themselves, express their creativity, and even discover and develop their unique talents.
Being a mom is not just about raising our own kids; it is about nurturing the friendships they form and the relationships they cherish. Creating a safe and warm environment for my son and his friends has been so rewarding, and it warms my heart to see them enjoy their time together. I encourage you all to open your homes and your hearts, just like my parents did for me, and watch the magic unfold. Let us make memories and build lasting bonds for these amazing young souls.
Rosa Enid Arroyo