I have a friend, G. She is moving. To Houston. I am really sad.
We first met at our neighborhood tot lot (across the street from my house) after we'd been in the neighborhood for a few years. When we first moved in I would dutifully walk across the street with A and D on Monday afternoons when all the kids that go to public school would hang after early dismissal. I smiled. I tried to enter conversations. But I was pretty much ignored. It was a tough crowd to break into. First, I was a working mom (granted I work 3 days at home), but due to my schedule I couldn't participate in any of the organized play groups to meet other moms. Then, as my kids got older, we didn't go to the local public school putting us further on the outside of what seemed to me at the time as an impenetrable fortress.
Then one day my boys were sitting watching some older boys (as in one year older than A) play football. I could tell they wanted to play but were too shy to ask. Then suddenly a mom who must have seen the dynamic walked up and yelled over to her son, "Hey Lou! Why don't you ask these boys to play?" While the other boys rolled their eyes, sweet Lou walked over, introduced himself and asked them to be on his team. Now nobody would throw them the ball, but after D tackled a few of the big boys to the ground a little acceptance was gained.
I walked over to thank this nice mom and we got to talking. Turns out we both like to read, have similar senses of humor and take similar attitudes towards parenting. A friendship slowly started building. When L was born, her oldest daughter became my "mom's helper." I loved hanging with her kids and got mad soccer props from Lou for being a "soccer mom" who could actually play.
Then the accident happened. Family tragedy can be a clear litmus test for friendships. G was always there when I needed her. She never tried to be intrusive in our shock and grief. Lots of people would drop off dinner, but then try to stay and "get the scoop" about what really happened and how the girls were. One of my favorite memories of her help was when I called and told her we had no toilet paper and within minutes a package was on our porch with no questions. All of this while her own mother was dying.
A week after the accident was Halloween and many people avoided our house thinking we wouldn't hand out candy or that our boys wouldn't trick or treat. I'll never forget sitting on our porch waiting for someone to come so I could hand out the candy in my giant bucket watching kids and parents pass by our house. Then out of the dark up walked Lou who gave me a huge hug and told me how sorry he was (okay tears forming in my eyes just thinking about that night).
Over the years our friendship has deepened. Her husband is one of my favorite people. She is my late night text buddy. Most days don't go by without her making me laugh. G gives me tough love when I need it. She is my go-to person with help with rides for the kids (this seems like a trivial thing but you need to understand that my kids don't like riding in cars with other people besides me and K--she is just that special). My kids love her and I truly know that she loves my kids.
She is the only in real life (IRL) friend that reads my blog.
So this post is a tribute to my rock. One of only a handful of people I truly know is my friend and who I always know I can count on.
Love you G. I'll miss you. Thank goodness my texts will still reach you in Houston.