Tonight is the eve of my birthday.
Tomorrow, nay, in five minutes ... I'll turn 42-years old.
At this point in my life, I can say that without question: Life is wonderful. Life is beautiful. Life is perfect. Especially when you look at it through the right set of lenses.
Tonight, those lenses are focused on the fact that Charlie and I had the chance to visit with my absolutely beautiful friend, Holly, and her absolutely beautiful daughter, Isla. They were visiting Virginia from California, because Holly used to live here - and came back to visit - and was thoughtful enough to include us in her celebration with her old Northern Virginia friends.
Friends are awesome. Especially those friends that you continue friendships with for years and years and years. I met Holly running. Does anyone remember when I joined Mom's in Motion with my friend, Jessica? Those were the days when I thought that perhaps I could possibly be a runner. Back in the day when I'd run and run and wonder why my feet would fall asleep after less than a mile, only to later find out that it was a severe circulatory disorder and unless I wanted to undergo major surgery, I should probably give up running altogether and instead take up walking or swimming or cycling.
So I gave up running ... but never gave up my running friends.
After talking with Holly tonight about how difficult it can be to meet people, I believe it is important to go, today, and find yourself a friend. Find yourself so many friends that your heart feels like it could burst from the friendship. Everyone needs a friend and more importantly, everyone is looking for a friend. Should you be wondering, "How do I make a friend?" My advice is to show an interest in other people. Invite them over for dinner, or for a walk. Or perhaps, get their family to join your family for a BBQ. Maybe it seems like a tall order, but friends are what make life worth living.
Have I written yet about the family with six children that moved in to our neighborhood last year and the mother was expecting the seventh baby? And when they moved in, I told them that if there was ANYTHING we could do to please call us? And they called us when the mother was in labor with baby #7 and asked if they could drop off five of their children for a few hours? And Charlie watched those five children + our four children for a total of NINE children for several hours and when the mother delivered baby #7, she named him Charlie and I don't think there is ANY coincidence in that?
That is awesome.
In equal awesomeness, one night a month, I get together with several women in my neighborhood (including the mother of seven children with the baby named Charlie) for an evening of chocolate and wine and camaraderie. And I've decided that there are very few things in this world more awesome than sitting around with a bunch of women TALKING. We actually don't talk that much. We mostly laugh. Because the stories that we tell and share which we think are so unique to us, really aren't that unique. Motherhood. Wifehood. Womanhood. Humanhood. We're in it, together.
That is awesome.
Charlie was so envious of my evening get togethers with the neighborhood ladies, that he set up a Ping Pong A-Thong (I mean, Ping Pong Tournament) for the men in our neighborhood. And so it is that one night a month, dozens of men in our neighborhood get together and whack a ping pong ball around a table for several hours and they have more fun that I can properly convey here. They're now also forming a dart group and foosball group and poker group. Because men need friends, too.
Now I just think it's funny how the men get so much satisfaction from doing something physical, while the women are perfectly content to sit and chat. And chat. And chat. And wow, is that the sun rising in the eastern sky? How is it that we've been talking for 10 hours? So, who wants to host breakfast?
That is awesome.
Also awesome .... neighborhood babysitters who are the daughters of our amazing neighbors whom have seven children and at 14-years old, she thinks that a fair rate for babysitting is $3 an hour. Which is approximately the same rate that I charged when I was a babysitter TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.
So when we tell her,"We think a fair rate is $10 an hour," she nearly falls over with excitement and we now feel fairly confident that we'll be able to procure her babysitting services every single weekend from now until the time she moves out of the house.
Last, but not least .... awesomeness knows no bounds like the FBI and Boston Police Department who were able to piece together what happened on Monday during the marathon and then, uncover and apprehend the suspects less than four days later.
I'm so proud.
At 42-years old, I'm so proud to be an American wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.
And now, I need to go find myself a comfortable pair of shoes and reading glasses.