He runs to make his mind still, to organize himself and to get rid of the noise from this loud, confusing world. The more he's moved, the more he's introduced patterns and rhythm into his routine. Laps around the house are a daily ritual. He's made it more complex as he's developed, but the basics are the same. There is a pattern of movement -- specific foot patterns based on whatever song or chant he chooses to accompany the run, and he can not be stopped until he is ready to be.

This is James, and this is our story.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Virtual Friendship in Reality

When a friend recently posted on FB that her sons' 1st day of school would be delayed by a week, and asked for ideas of what to do with them so she didn't lose her mind, I immediately responded  that we would be at our pool club and they should hang out with us for the day.

The thing that makes this very, VERY uncommon for me to do is that I had never met her before.  Or her boys.

She writes the wonderful, heartfelt blog, Try Defying Gravity, and our boys are around the same ages.  I love her writing and admire her.  Our stories are similar, and I've told her more than a few times that I feel like she's walked in my shoes.  We became Facebook friends and started sharing more personal stories, so in my mind, she was already my friend.

It wasn't until I realized that I wasn't sure how to pronounce her first name that I understood the enormity of what I had suggested, and how far out of my comfort zone that was.  She was driving an hour (and paying a small fortune) to come for the day.  What if I oversold the pool as a magical wonderland and her kids didn't like it? What if it was a total letdown for her?   And the most nagging question of all - What if I didn't live up to her expectations in real life?

I realized today that I need to learn to trust my instincts and not over-think things (those of you who know me are laughing outright that I just said "over-think" and "me" in the same sentence...) 

She and her boys were so incredibly nice, and we had a great day.  Her oldest went on the slide a hundred times, the obstacle course, the bumper boats and in the wave pool, while her two little ones floated around happily in the wave pool. 

And when my boys checked out completely after about a half hour, and I stressed about them sitting around moping while our guests were swimming without new friends to entertain them, she waved it off and laughed. 

Just like a friend would. 

And I realized then that I didn't need to make the day perfect, it just had to be real.

As Murphy's Law dictates, as soon as it is time to leave, your kids inevitably stop asking when it is time to go.  So even though it was Mario they bonded over instead of the wave pool I hoped for, we stood there for a few extra minutes watching them play together, like they had known each other all summer, and I was happy that I trusted my instincts about friendship.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said this any better myself. What a wonderful day for me and my boys. So glad to know you in real life now. Thank you for the gift of this day.

Anonymous said...

This makes me so very happy to read! I know her IRL, too (but first from blogging) and I know it's been a rough week. I am so thrilled that you offered, she accepted, and now you both have new "live and in person" friends! HURRAH!!!

krismac said...

Thanks, trydefyinggravity, that means a lot coming from you!

maternalinstincts, thanks for reading! Made me happy too :)