I love my friends. And I love that I can easily say they are family. We often comment that our kids are like cousins and I do feel an aunt-like love and watch-care over their kids. So it only makes sense that we watch out for one another, text each other late at night for parenting advice, play the cheerleader, the sounding board, and help each other during transitions.
Last week I felt so lucky - SO LUCKY! - to be able to help out Jenn with one of these transitions. Her oldest daughter Alyna just graduated from high school and is going to attend college in southern Utah. She flew from PDX to Vegas last week and I got to pick her up - along with two very big suitcases - and drive her to St. George. But first we made a pit stop at Purple Penguin for snow cones. Of course.
This is one great girl. I so enjoyed our conversation during the 2+ hour drive as she shared her thoughts and excitement on starting this new chapter. There is apprehension about the unknown, many reality checks ahead (which she is preparing herself for), and a good dose of courage needed to be yourself in a sea of new people & experiences. What an exciting time!
She is going to do so well and I am super proud of her for stepping out, getting involved in campus leadership (as a freshman!), and doing something that feels right for her.
I couldn't help but think of the adorable 6 year old that I met 12 years ago when we moved to St. Helens. Just a few months after we moved in we had an end-of-summer BBQ, which became a yearly tradition for about 5 years. We invited a few families we wanted to get to know. In the beginning it was the Waites, Cluffs, Habels . . . And the rest is history. This photo was taken in 2004 at the 3rd annual summer BBQ - she was 8. Isn't she cute?
I guess my point in sharing all this is . . . .
- Connections built up over a decade+ are awesome.
- Time is a crazy thing.
- Beginning to see the fruits of years of parenting (even through friends) is a wonderful blessing.
I can't help but think that in just 5 years Conner will be graduating from high school and heading to a mission and college.
And in 10 years Anna will have graduated from high school. Yep, we are on the 10 year plan.
I don't think I can predict exactly how I will feel when it is my turn for those big transitions -- I think everyone experiences/feels it differently. But I have enjoyed getting to be a small fly on the wall as I see my friends help their chicks leave the nest. And I know they will be there for me when it's my turn to figure out prom, graduation, and 18 year olds who just want to move on already!