What a hard and wonderful day! Those who know me well know that I hate “good-byes”. I’m also not a fan of showing my emotions in public. But today I couldn’t hold back the tears as I walked through that hotel lobby with my sobbing kiddos trailing behind me after saying good-bye to our friends and neighbours for the last time. The kids had played together nearly all day, sharing snacks and school time and lunch and a swim this afternoon.
Most of our supper time tonight was spent bemoaning the empty house across the street and wondering what life would be like without our neighbour friends. When PJ asked where the second bottle of ketchup in the fridge came from, I could barely choke out their names and had to laugh at myself. He said, “I didn’t know you had grown so attached.” And you know what? Me neither. But there is something different about a neighbour friend than a friend across town. When you become friends with a neighbour, you don’t mind exchanging favours, recipe ingredients, babysitting. Your kids can play together any time without you having to coordinate a formal play date for a specific day, place, and time. You’re already there when emergency strikes. When the power goes off and fire alarms go on in the wee hours of the morning during a snowstorm, the whole thing turns into an impromptu pyjama party by candlelight. And speaking of pyjamas, you don’t mind answering your door to a neighbour friend before changing out of those…or before donning make-up or even brushing your teeth for that matter. You naturally share a few more of those behind the scenes moments of life.
The neighbourhood feels a little lonely this evening, and I wonder if my kids will ever play outside again. I didn’t realize what a comfort it was to have another homeschooler that close to home. What a blessing it’s been! If you currently have connections like this close to home, cherish them! Enjoy the things you share in common. Enjoy watching the joy it brings to your children. Change is hard. “Good-byes” are hard. But I’m reminding myself that every “good-bye” starts with a “hello”. I’m looking forward to one of those more scheduled play dates tomorrow afternoon with a homeschool mom I met recently. Who knows what blessings will flow from these initial “hellos”?