When Your Daughter Invites People to Stay for Lunch

When Your Daughter Asks People to Stay for Lunch |  A Simple Haven

y beautiful little Bun is an extrovert.  When she was younger, she would greet everyone in the grocery store. Everyone. And then she asked me why I wasn’t saying hi to everyone too.

She knows the names of kids in our neighborhood that we’ve never formally met.  She greets them from a hundred yards off.

She throws pretend parties almost daily; her blocks are cakes, my mixing bowls are ice cream sundaes, and I’m never allowed to move any of the “decorations” because a birthday party is a week-long celebration, apparently.

I love her imagination and heart for people. 

Until she starts inviting friends to stay for meals.

Because, well, that wasn’t Mommy’s plan. And there was nothing in the pantry or fridge except…randomness…and leftovers, maybe?

Now if a whole gaggle of kids had come over to play, I would have felt fine gently excusing Bun and sending our friends on their way.  I didn’t have that may leftovers, after all.  And other moms understand that sort of thing.

But it was just one friend, a college student.  She seemed to want to stay, even after I told her our sparse lunch options.

So I followed my almost four-year old’s lead and welcomed her to our table.

When Your Daughter Invites People to Stay for Lunch | A Simple Haven

And you know what? 

It was a lovely little lunch.  We had more than enough to eat, the kids enjoyed our friends’ company, and Buckaroo didn’t even throw (much) food.

Afterward, I realized it was good for me: to have my little schedule shaken up a little, to show hospitality when I wasn’t planning to, to realize when I look in the fridge and see “no food,” that it is almost never truly the case.

It was a good reminder to try to keep some basic snacks on hand for sharing.  But also that there’s always something I can offer guests.  Even if it’s just a hot drink and a warm welcome.

How do you feel about unexpected dinner (lunch) guests?





About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • brenda venable

    The apple does not fall far from the tree. 🙂
    And you know it’s not a problem with unexpected dinner guests around here, doubt anyone would break down the locked gate .4 mile down the road and then knock on my front door. Hasn’t happened yet.

  • Andrea Mull

    Oh man. I hear you here. I feel so awkward (embarrassed even) about having people over when we’re unprepared. Thanks for the reminder that it’s okay to risk it. I may actually be surprised how much I enjoy the company.

    • I so hear you, Andrea! I was a little panicky at first. 🙂 It is a risk of sorts. But like you said, I really enjoyed it–and generally do, once I get over the brief panic :).

  • Christy

    That is hilarious!

    You don’t get unexpected dinner guests here. This is England. Far too polite for that sort of thing. Actually, it is less they are polite and more that they are awkward. Their biggest fear is awkwardness. And so they create more awkwardness by worrying about it. Showing up at someone’s house unannounced with food expectations would be their nightmare thinking of all the awkwardness that could ensue.

    Yeah. Definitely nothing unexpected in the realm of guests here!

    • So funny. I get the expectations of food part for sure. I love the manners but I think I would struggle with the indirectness (am I making that up? that’s the impression I have of British communication…).

      • Christy

        VERY indirect. Unless you are my ginger haired housemate and then all the fiery directness that the rest of the culture missed is in your chemistry.

  • Oh my heart, what a doll. I love how our children teach us and I admit to not being that flexible to surprise lunch guests. But, I want too. And I’m learning.
    My girls have the same tea set, it’s wonderful. =) XO

    • Oh yes, I’m learning too :). Yes, the tea set! We take it to the pool in the summer :).

  • Allison

    I don’t get unexpected guests because I’m never home : (. But, the “spirit of Aloha” that is such a cultural value in Hawaii means that it’s completely fine to show up at peoples’ houses unannounced. You are always welcome and they will always INSIST on feeding you
    . I loved that about living there…

    • I’ve heard that about certain Middle Eastern cultures, too–the drop-ins and all. I kinda love that but it also kinda stresses me out.

      How did you deal with it when you first moved to HI? Did you just love it right away or did it take some adjustment?

  • Love this! We have had a few Annie’s mac and cheese with peas lunches (for the grown-ups too!) ourselves when we end up at our house after an impromptu playdate at the library. My little guy is an extrovert too, and it’s so fun to see his little personality develop.

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