I am thrilled to report to you that my jaw is beginning to unclench.
Why? You kindly ask? Why would my jaw be held so tightly that even I didn’t realize I was holding it? Is it the stress of working full time? Or of having 2 children, one with Autism? Or, the combination of farming, kids, work, everyday life and etc?? If you guessed C you’d be right, I guess.
I am fortunate enough to have earned enough Airmiles to fly out to my very good friend’s house for a break. My first spouse & child free vacation since I acquired such creatures. I have left behind a mountain of food and clean laundry. Pages of instructions. My cell phone number strategically scattered all over my home province. And, I boarded a plane of Saturday morning & flew 2 time zones away to be refreshed & renewed. Or, at least distracted by children who are not my own.
My friends have 3 beautiful children who were a regular fixture in our daily lives until work took them to a fresh, new city about 18 months ago. I have missed them dearly ever since. Those darn kids went ahead and got bigger, smarter & I think their mother would insist, mouthier. (It is totally untrue, I assure you, though they are as tall and skinny as ever, I will give her that.)
The wonderful thing about my friends is that it doesn’t seem as though we’ve talked a total of maybe 20 hours (on the phone) in 18 months. It doesn’t feel like we’ve been absent from each others lives, missing the little things and the big ones. It is like picking up where we left off & I am already scheming how I am going to get my family out another time. I might also be scheming how to get my girlfriend to come to my house too, but she doesn’t know that yet. (Of course, she is one of my blog readers, so there is a good chance the cat is out of the bag now. Oops.)
The greatest thing about my friends is that they get me. These are people who never had to be guided through my life, because they entered it before Nathan was born. They offer perspective, insights and the wisdom that we needed so desperately as new parents. They have held my hand while I wrung it in worry over my children & kept me sane when I thought I would lose my mind through a second (unexpected!) maternity leave. They helped me renew my faith & for that I will be forever grateful. It has sustained me through very dark hours & has brought me to a place where I still worry but completely celebrate all that is unique and wonderous about my son.
I am so glad to have a place to go that feels exactly like coming home, whether it is next door or across the world. May it be so for everyone.