Sunday, January 28, 2007
It was a wonderful weekend; filled with reconnections with old friends and good times. I am so glad I made the drive out to a SMALL (2000 people) town in WI to visit an old friend. We went to college together and due to a variety of factors, (none of which are good excuses - but distance, life, relationships, family, etc) we have been in touch rather infrequently in the past 8 years. I hate that that has to happen to friends, so when the opportunity presented itself to find some good old fashioned chat time, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed.
She was kind enough to offer to let me stay overnight and I'm so glad I did. It was a lovely 24 hours spent getting to know her 2 children (3 years old and 11 mos) and her husband, as well as catching up on their lives in the past few years. I brought books and small gifts to her children. I love books as gifts and the reactions of her children are the reason why. They LOVE to be read to and had read the books 10 times each by the time I left. Her 3 year-old sat through the entirety of Make Way for Ducklings (an adorable story based around the city of Boston). It's not a short book and has pencil drawn pictures, but she loved it. We share our first name, and we bonded after a few shy minutes. She is a sweet and innocent child, who loves to iron Kleenex (her mom shares that she realized that she must not iron enough - her daughter tried to iron her pretend toast the other day! :)). Her brother is a little spitfire with a mischievous smile and a sparkle in his eye. They are such well-behaved children.
It makes think long and hard about the benefits of living in a quiet little corner of the world. This family has a beautiful home with wonderful children. My friend has made the choice to stay home with their children and they obviously are benefitting from their mom's dedication. It is not perfect. Dad works long hours and travels for most of the week, but it's what works for them. It is truly incredible to see your friends as parents.
My memories of this friend include lunch chats, the occasional basement frat party, or night out on the town. Seeing her as a mother is something so phemonal. It's not as a new mother, still feeling her oats and getting her bearings. It's as a mom who is comfortable in her skin as a mother and loves spending time with her kids. I am so glad that I was able to witness this. We stayed up late, my friend and I, long after the children went to sleep, the neighbors left, and her husband left us to visit (after having cooked us dinner - does he have a brother? ;)). We finished up one bottle of wine, opened another, reminisced, and reconnected. In the morning, her happy children were awake and I was so content to be in the midst of this pictureque family scene. I am so happy when my friends are happy.