Since Sofia’s only in town until 9p.m. tonight, we tried to fit in as much as possible.
This morning we woke up and Sofia, myself and Luke, and our good friend Jennifer hiked up my favorite mountain. Now, I haven’t hiked up this mountain with Luke on my back for at least a year. It’s pretty steep, and that 30 pound kid of mine really gets heavy. Plus, it was about 85 degrees when we set up the mountain around 8:15a.m. Fortunately, Sofia and Jennifer know of a shorter route than I’ve ever been on before, so I was confident I could do this, even in the heat. And I did, but to tell the truth, when we rounded a familiar corner, I almost broke down in tears because I thought we still had a ways to go. To my surprise, and relief, we were at the top. I’m thankful we made the hike not only because I feel pretty kick-ass for doing it, but also because Sofia, Jennifer, and I had a nice chance to talk without the other kids listening in with their big ears!
Then we came home and just hung out, and Sofia watched Luke and Maddie (I let her stay home from school to hang out with everyone…some may call this bad parenting, but I call it awesome parenting) while I went to teach. But, of course, Sofia didn’t just watch the kids, she walked them downtown, took them into all the shops they wanted to go to, and then took them to lunch. When I returned Luke was napping and the other girls we still walking around downtown (which I felt really good about since Maddie and Isabella were being watched by Corinne and her friend, Samantha, two totally responsible 18 years olds. Plus, Maddie is really thankful!) I’m thankful the kids had such a great time while I was gone. Maddie and Luke, I guarantee, will not have this much fun again with a babysitter for a very long time!
Finally, we all went out to dinner before Sofia and her girls left and Jennifer and her girlfriend Carly joined us. We had a three hour dinner, eating way too much and talking way too fast, but I would rather sit and have dinner with these people than do anything else…go to Paris, eat with someone famous (I take that back if, say, the famous person was Shakespeare risen from the dead. Then I’d ditch them all.), shop on a million dollar budget down Rodeo Drive, or anything else that may sound fabulous.
I’ve had a parade of friends in the last few days, and I’ve had fun, and I’m totally exhausted. But now that the house is quiet and everyone has left, a sense of sadness creeps into my soul. These past few days…well, this is what my life used to be like all the time. Growing up my mom and dad were not social, and my mom liked everything fairly quiet, so since my adult life away from home began, I’ve lived my life by having a sort of open door policy. Any friend of mine can live with me for free for as long as needed, the more people invited to dinner the better, kids running around acting crazy is enjoyable, long conversations over bottles of wine is the greatest. It’s been so long that I’ve been kind of locked into my own solitude that I actually began to forget how wonderful and life affirming it is to have friends to be around. Of course, life changes, we all get busy, friends move away (But come on! Do all my friends have to move away???), money gets tight (and then tighter), and socializing with those you love becomes less frequent. But life is too short to waste on not spending a bit more money, staying up late, nursing a slight hangover from drinking too much wine, and really making the effort to bring people together. I used to be much better at this. I’m thankful for the fun I’ve had these past few days with Jill and Sofia and other friends to remind me to get back in the swing of things.
I’ve always said that if I was diagnosed with some sort of terminal cancer and only had a year to live, I wouldn’t spend it traveling or finishing some great novel that I’ve been working on or even extending every credit line I’ve got. Nope, I would want to spend every night having dinner with friends, enjoying their presence, discussing all the different aspect of LIFE, and surrounding myself with an abundance of food and love. While I hope I don’t receive a terminal life sentence anytime soon, I sure am thankful that I’ve lived part of my life–the multiple many dinner parties and BBQs and late nights with friends I’ve had in the past– as if my days were numbered. This, I believe, is how life should be.