As I sit up here in my office, I can hear the laughing, cackling and hearty discussion from the group in the livingroom. They all showed up around 7:30 when my husband and I were out having dinner. The Queen had invited everyone, or so it seems, over for a "White elephant" christmas party. Actually, the white elephant part was to give her a reason to have a party. I tend to think she is not like me at all but as she gets older, she is starting to do things I have always done...like having everyone over.
The are about 20 teenagers in my living room and I have known most of them since kindergarten and a few of them...their whole life. I have watched them in countless band concerts, christmas plays, soccer games and awards ceremonies. I have handed them food at 1st grade parties, homecoming parties, band competitions and after prom parties. They have sat in my kitchen when I gave the "lecture". I would ask about school and boys and all things high school. I watched them walk across the stage and accept their diploma as they graduated from high school. I have heard about their crushes and their hurts and watched them fall in and out of love. They are the Queen's friends and I feel like in alot of ways they are mine.
They all went to college. Some close and some far. They left to be nurses, engineers, teachers, soldiers...some went without a plan but to find their way in the world and make a place for themselves. When they left, they were young kids that had mother's that knew their every move (or so we thought) and had hoped that they knew enough to make it without us. I remember prom night when the group of mom's met to take pictures and visit at one of the houses. We talked of the hopes and dreams for the group and what we thought would happen when the left for college. We were all dreaming big but in our hearts, we just wanted them to survive and be OK. We talked about the classes they would take and the places they would live and the meal plans they would be using. We were excited and scared for them at the same time.
Time has passed and they have made it. Maybe they didn't all do perfectly or make the best grades, but they are here. They are all back in one piece and it's as if nothing has changed, but really everything has. They seem older and more aware of the preciousness of the friendships of the past. They will tell you about how they have so many new friends and that is wonderful. But they still are here...in my livingroom, laughing like the old times and remembering.
So, I went out with my husband, we had a great italian dinner and then came home to this. For me, the mother who couldn't believe that her daughter was really leaving, and if she did...would she ever come back? This is one of the moments to cherish...not only to have her back for the evening, but the whole group. It's like nothing has changed...but really everything has...and it's good.
We'll tawk later.