This week I'm working on getting our Christmas letter out. It's always a big deal because I love doing it and making it all fun and fancy. It even has a theme. I can't tell you what it is since it isn't out yet. Sorry. (But not really.)
Anyway, when we moved I kept thinking that my Christmas list was going to get just that much longer now. Of course it did. While I was writing little notes on some of them, I started getting all teary from missing everyone. It's really starting to sink in that I am not surrounded by familiar faces and I'm not going to just go to town and run into four people I know and actually like. And I'm not going to just call my friend and say sonmething like, "Hey, I'm bringing lunch." And she says, "Great! I only have peanut butter anyway."
Grace has been feeling it, too. Being eight and having moved and left friends before, she gets it. At school her class was such a great class. Just a nice bunch of kids that all seemed to work hard and have fun. I really like that bunch. I like their parents, too.
We've been kind of hunkered down and the lonely started to set in. There was a local homeschool rollerskating activity today and I had considered going. But then I realized that I would have four kids, two of which would not be very fun to skate with because they are little. And rollerskating while wearing a baby on my back just doesn't fall into my comfort zone.
Grace told Brent the other night that she was in a slump--they had been reading "Oh! The Places You'll Go" and asked him what a slump was. (Today she announed that all she really wanted was a friend.)
I know exactly how she feels. And for that reason I realized that regardless of the two little ones, I had to get her and Calla out and to the activity. I needed to go, too. So yesterday I got us all registered.
Brent came home last night and I told him we were going. He wondered what I was doing with the younger two. I told him I didn't know but I thought it was really important that we went.
This morning Grace was pretty excited. I still had no idea how I was going to manage the younger two. I have a stroller in the car and figured I'd tie one of them in there. The other was my problem, whichever one that was.
Then I checked my email. There was a forward from Brent--he had arranged to take a few hours off work to take the two younger ones so I could rollerskate with the two school girls.
I may have cried. What an awesome guy. I hadn't even asked him to do that. I hadn't even considered it. He's been at work for maybe four weeks here and he felt it was important enough to arrange to help me out for a few hours.
He totally made our day. All of us. G&C got to go skate with mom and V&C got to go hang out with their dad.
On the way to the rink, we stopped and sent a package and got the mail. In the mail was a package for Grace from her class. Her teacher really liked her and they have been sending her packages. Today she got a Christmas card from each of her classmates along with a little gingerbread house activity and a recipe book. One of the boys wrote in his card to her, "I miss you. I will miss you forever." It totally made me giggle. The whole thing was just so great. (Thank you Mrs. B!) She's sending them all a present for Christmas. I love it. She needed that today.
But it gets better. Grace made a friend. And Calla made a friend. Grace's friend lives (get this) A MILE AWAY! And Calla's friend's mom (get this) is a part of a homeschool network and I am calling her next week to see what it's all about and if I want to be a part of it.
I'd call that a successful day.
But it gets better. About half an hour before the end of the event, Calla was hungry. Really hungry. But being the mom that I am, I won't buy her the crap food they sell at the roller rink. She begins to have a meltdown, but then pulls it together enough to go enjoy the rest of the skating. (She's pretty good, by the way.) And then her daddy shows up, WITH BANANAS!! YAY DAD!!! The guy was on his game today. Seriously. He made our day numerous times, and he had some serious competition.
Then we all dropped dad off at work (with a kiss and a big round of THANK YOUS!) and came home and made an amazing chicken soup.
Later I got a message from one of my local cyber friends saying she wants to be one of my familiar faces. I love her already.
Before we moved, I was telling one of my friends that I really wasn't very excited about moving. At all. Her comment was something like, "Well, if you didn't go and make a thousand friends, it wouldn't be so hard." Well, my friend, here's to not learning from the past. I love you and I miss you. I miss all my familiar. But I'm feeling hopeful that this could become familiar.
After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.