old friends, new friends

This weekend was probably one of the best our family has had in quite some time.  We didn’t know the people who had asked to stay at our house, but we had previous connections, and it seemed like we would at least have a decent time together.  However, the weekend went far and beyond all our expectations, and we all had an absolute blast!!!

Our weekend guests consisted of a family made up of Dad (D), Mom (M), and their three boys, whose ages range similarly to that of my girls.  D is a pastor of the same denomination as my husband; they went to the same Seminary, although he was a few years behind my husband.  M and I also went to the same college, although we didn’t know each other well as she was a few years behind me.  But the truly unique connection is that D and I have known each other since we were babies.  Our families belonged to the same church, our mothers sang in church choir together, we played together as kids — we know each other from Way Back When.

So, when M emailed me to say that they were stopping in our area on a vacation and asked if they could stay with us, I quickly agreed.  They arrived with their three boys on Friday afternoon, and after a few initial shy moments, all the kids instantly became friends and enthusiastically began playing together, pretty much not stopping the entire weekend! 🙂  M and I started talking, and it didn’t take long to discover that we share many similar interests  As we subject after subject came up, and we discovered we were on the same page, I said to her, “How is it we have never gotten to know each other?”  We could have talked all weekend; we certainly talked fast and crammed as many words as we could into our time together. 🙂

D and I had fun reminiscing about our childhoods.  In the course of the weekend, I brought out a cookbook (dated 1977) of our childhood church, and in it were some recipes that his sainted mother had submitted.  He and M were very excited, as there were some favorite recipes of his in there that he hadn’t had since his mother was alive.  D also preached for JJ this morning, which was a wonderful blessing, because JJ was busy all week preparing to take his Comps.

Our children had SO MUCH FUN playing together.  They all stayed up way too late both nights, but M and I agreed that we didn’t have the heart to send them to bed at a “normal” time.  We figured that you have to make the most of times with your friends when you have them, plus, hey, it’s summer vacation!  So, our kids enjoyed plenty of playtime together late into the evenings (as did their parents!)

I cooked big, healthy meals.  M raises her kids on non-processed, whole foods just like I try to do, so I cooked my regular food and didn’t have to worry about the kids not eating it.  It was fun to have all nine of us around the dinner table.  We put the kids on one end and the adults on the other, and that way everyone could have their own conversations.  It was loud and fun and full of laughter and just a marvelous time.

I decided that next summer, we will take a driving trip to go visit them at their home.  Our children are already looking forward to next summer, as are the adults!  I hope that all of us, children and adults alike, can maintain these friendships despite separations of time and space.  Thank goodness for Facebook! 🙂

In some ways, I felt very old this weekend.  I mean, it’s my childhood friend staying at my home with his wife and kids!  But, more than that, it felt … familiar.  It felt like discovering a brother, (and, even more, a sister, too), that I didn’t know I had.

And, perhaps best of all, it was so neat to see our children becoming friends.  This idea that a friendship that started with two mothers, a friendship that carried on to their children, that this friendship might even continue on to THEIR children is a pretty neat idea.  Our children are young; who knows what the future will hold?  But, for now, that friendship has been given a promising start for the future.  That thought makes me feel … so happy.

And I’m already making plans for us to have a true family vacation next summer!