Heading into the holiday weekend, I didn't have any big plans. Miss Monkey was with her dad through Monday, and I wasn't sure when I'd get to take over. Happily, the handover happen early and we got to spend the whole afternoon together at our local pool. We went down the water slide (about a hundred million times). I cheered after every belly flop she made off the diving board. She cheered when she pulled me into the freezing water all by herself. The girl's got serious muscle! We had a blast. But here and there I felt some pangs of loneliness. We were literally surrounded by dozens of moms and dads spending time with their two (or three or four) kids and usually a bunch of friends. Our little family felt, well, little and not quite complete. This is hardly the first time I've felt this way. It happens almost every holiday now, especially when we can't be with our extended family (all of whom live hours away). It wasn't a surprise nor overwhelming, just...there.
Then we ran into M&T. They are hands down my closest friends in town and we hang out all the time. I wasn't expecting to see them (thought they went away), so it was a happy surprise. Two seconds after our hello kisses, they immediately invited us over for an impromptu BBQ with their neighbors. And about two seconds after that, my little cloud of gloom lifted. We weren't alone! There was no reason to wallow!
Now for most people, last-minute get-togethers like this happen all the time with family friends and neighbors. When I was growing up, it sure happened with my parents' pals and their posses of kids. And because of that, I always expected to have many of these relaxed and comfortable family friendships once I was married and had kids. There was nothing like them! Yet we never did. Not once. My STBX isn't exactly what you'd call a people person...or rather, he's just isn't a my-kind-of-people person. Beside his cousin and wife (who live a good hour south), we had no couple friends, let alone couple friends with kids we could call on a moment's notice to come over for pizza. So even though to M&T there was nothing particularly extraordinary in their invitation, to me, it was a sign of another step forward. It was a reminder that I am nurturing the types of relationships and friendships I always hoped for, but never could have, in my old my life. And it was a reminder that our little family has everything—and everyone—it needs. xox, Evie