Last night we hosted a little going away gathering for some dear friends who are moving to South Africa. We had a great BBQ dinner, sat outside and ate by candle light and let the kids roam wild. It's such a great feeling when you have a diverse group of friends who all just click. You'll help one another out at the drop of a hat, you'll listen while another parent speaks to your child about something serious in a firm voice and it sits well with you, you'll commiserate about marriage, you'll share stories about sleepless nights, tough choices at work and pre-children travels, and basically you just adore one another's children and don't get sick of each other - that friendship is not easy to find and sustain.
We ate a peach blackberry crisp and homemade fresh vanilla ice cream which the Chickpea and I made with love for those we care about. There were tears all around, long sustained hugs and shouting of last goodbyes into the darkness. We've all decided that we'll just pick up where we have left off when they return in 2 and a half years. But life is best left unplanned and we all know that often the choices and events that have the most impact on us aren't always ours to make. I remind myself to let go and seek out kindness and embrace it when I see it and all will be well.
As sad as we are to miss our friends we know it is a great opportunity and we are undeniably happy for them. I don't know what to expect from the kids. Chickpea's best buddy departing will leave a big hole to fill but kids are resilient and adaptable. Thankfully, the little girls have a few more weeks before they say their final goodbye.