Friday, January 23, 2015

Saying Goodbye

One of the greatest blessings in my life as a new mom, as a mom of young kids, has been my connections with other moms in this season of life. 

My high school relationships are strong, and those girls will be my forever friends.  My college friends and I, while sprinkled all over the country, will always stay in touch.  But my friends that I do life with, everyday, are my life.  They keep me sane, they keep me challenged as a wife, friend, mom, daughter.  And I knew none of them 5 years ago.

It is with these moms that I have engaged in Bible studies, listened to speakers on all topics, had tough conversations about marriage, parenting, faith and life, and it is these women who challenge and inspire me to be better.

It is also with these moms that I spend my mornings with in playdates.  The word playdate is a bit of an illusion.  Yes, play happens, yes fighting happens, and yes, we are constantly intervening, fixing owies, and cleaning up explosive messes.  In the midst of a playdate, the moms might get in 7 minutes worth of conversation.  But it's worth it.  Truth be told, I go to playdates for the coffee and pastries.  Lots and lots of pastries.

A lot of us stay home with our children.  And our hard working husbands make that possible.  But, that leaves us at the beckon call of our husbands jobs.  This is not a goodbye for me.  I am Minnesota girl for life, and my husband sells Minnesota real estate (though he would be amazing at selling real   estate anywhere, Minnesota is the market he knows and the place we call home).

This is a goodbye to one of my dearest friends and her family.  They recently found out that her husband was promoted and therefore they will be transferred.  To a new city, to a new church and a new group of moms and kids who don't have a clue how lucky they are to be getting an amazing addition to their circles. 

Saying goodbye is hard.  And especially at this stage.  Travel with kids is hard, expensive and unlikely.  We will stay in touch, I am not worried, but I will miss her.  And her beautiful son who has brightened our lives in so many ways.  I will miss not seeing her every week.  I will miss not living life together.  I will just miss her.

This last month we have been very intentional about setting up times to reflect on their time here and making sure to get in proper goodbyes.  And these goodbyes have been special.  Taking the time to reflect and actually articulate how important we all are to each other has made the goodbye even harder. 

When I told Griffin they were moving and he asked, "are we going to have to take the highway to get there?"  "It's a little further than a highway, Griff," I broke it to him.  "Well, then we'll just have to take an airplane."  I love how kids are problem solvers by nature.  Just so matter of fact.  Yep, we'll just take a plane then.

In the midst of solving problems, they are also completely irrational and creative.  One of Griffin's biggest concerns about their move was that they wouldn't be Viking fans anymore.  I couldn't break it to him that they were never Viking fans to begin with, but the conversation went something like this. 

Griffin singing, "Oh, there once was a girl named Hattie, she was not from Cincinnati..."  "Griff, Do you remember when I told you our friends were moving?  Well, they are moving to Cincinnati." 

Long Pause.....

Griffin: "So, they are going to have to be Tiger fans?"  He had just seen the Bengals in the wildcard game and remembered they wore tiger helmets.  I told him that they would probably stay Eagles fans and maybe they would hold a special place in their hearts for the Vikes.

At one our countless evenings together, my friend mentioned that she and her husband were struggling with feelings of not wanting to go, not being excited about the next phase and having a hard time finding joy in the midst of the sadness of leaving.  While it doesn't surprise me that these feelings are real, this is one of her biggest strengths.  We've seen each other through a lot these past few years and I've seen first hand how sadness over one thing and happiness over something else can coexist.  She is such an example to me of steadfast faith, trust and love.

So, to my dear friend and her wonderful son, the sadness will fade and new adventures await.  New friendships will form, you'll find a new church, big things are just around the corner.  And while you will go through the biggest change, we are all left changed, too.  Changed from the impact you've had on our lives, changed from the things you've taught us, how you've loved us and how you have lived life with us. 

We will miss you deeply, my dear friend.  And, I guess we'll just have to take a plane.

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