With only a week and a half left before we make our 600 mile move, it's time to start saying goodbye. I'm excited about our new beginning and all of the new adventures in store for my family, but when I think about all of the people, friendships, and traditions that we're leaving behind I just feel sad.
Today I started to say goodbye to some very good friends that I have spent a lot of time getting to know in the last two years. It was supposed to be the last event that I attended, but I decided to squeeze one more in during the week so I can see many of them just one more time. Really, I think I'm just trying to put off saying goodbye. I am the worlds biggest procrastinator. I am dreading the hugs, the tears, and the goodbyes that I see in my very near future.
In order for anyone to understand what this group of friends means to me I need to back it up a bit and share the story of finding them:
When Joey was about 6 months old I found myself at home alone a lot of the time feeling bored, cooped-up, and lonely. When talking to my mom about needing to find some new mommy friends she jokingly said, "post an ad on Craigslist that you want new friends." (she is so helpful sometimes!) A few weeks later I was still thinking about how I could meet some other moms, and out of sheer curiosity I decided to "just browse" Craigslist, and see if anyone actually posts "friends wanted" ads. They do! Somewhere in my browsing, I came across an ad about a great site for meeting new people: Meetup.com. So I guess in essence, my mom's advice was right. Again.
Anyway, I visited the site, found a mom's group, and joined. I went to a playdate that same week and knew right away that I had found the right group. I just clicked with these ladies. The group was just starting off, so it was easy to join and we were all searching for the same thing: support, activities to do with our kids, advice, and friendship. I found all of this and more in this group. If ever I was having a bad day, someone was always there to listen, offer support, meet up for a walk, glass of wine, playdate, or Moms Night Out. When I had a question about my kids, everyone always had gentle advice, suggestions, and helpful ideas. When my twins were born, my family didn't have to cook for a month because so many of these wonderful women brought delicious meals and goodies our way.
I've never felt out of place, unwanted, or insecure at any of our group events. I've never felt like I had too many kids to go to a playdate. OK, well I know I have too many kids, but these ladies are always there to help get everyone out of the car, find Joey a snack, watch him in the pool, or hold a crying baby while I hold the other one. Recently, our life situation became tougher than we ever imagined, and these ladies provided me with a place to talk, cry, laugh, and find a shoulder to lean on. I love them dearly and would not have been able to survive the last two years without them.
This afternoon Ron and I took the kids to one of our Seasonal parties for the group. The group does this a few times a year, and it is a nice way to get everyone (even the dads!) together. It is always a pot-luck style backyard BBQ that is sure to have great food, tons of sweets, and activities for the kids. We had a great time, as we always do, and it reminded me of how lucky I've been to get to know this group of families. And while I know that this move is the right thing to do for our family, it made me realize that I'm leaving behind my huge support network in this life that I call mommyhood.
I know that we will be happy in our new home and maintain the important relationships that we are leaving behind, but it is still terribly sad and scary. I hope to find a group of ladies that will welcome me and my children in the way that this group has. I hope that the activities are fun and exciting, and not lame or boring. I hope they like to hold babies because I've got more than enough to go around. I hope that they like to take pictures of all the kids as much as this group does. I hope for a lot of things from this move, but mostly I just hope to find a few good friends to add to the many that I will take with me in my heart.