Watching friends move brings tears to mom and kids
On a bright, fall, Arizona morning, the youngest children from two families swung side by side in the backyard while their moms frantically put the last remaining items from the house into a mini-van – a hair dryer here, a toy light saber there.
Inside the nearly empty home, the four older children chased each other, making memories for their moms, probably without realizing it.
Some friendships grow. Others bloom into irreplaceable relationships.
For 12 years, the two families played together, expanded together.
This is our story.
We met before we had children at a small condo complex in Mesa. To say our kids have known each other since their births would not be an exaggeration.
I was there when her only daughter was born. She took me home from the hospital after the birth of my youngest. When I returned to work, my babies – all three at different times – spent hours at her home.
Through the births of six children, a move across town for each of us and multiple play dates, swapped babysitting and a shared school, our lives wove together.
On Monday, I watched as my friend and her three children packed their car and started a journey to join their husband and dad in a new home on the East Coast.
Despite all the preparations, when the day arrived, it was tougher than any of us expected.
My middle child – my most sensitive – gave hugs to her friends, then ran to the car to hide her tears. Even my 2-year-old seemed to know something was different as she clung to her “aunt.”
I didn’t want my friend – facing an 11-hour drive that first day – to be too overwhelmed with emotions. So I held back my own tears.
But as soon as she was gone, I couldn’t hold them back any more. My daughter and I cried together, through it, trying to assure each other we would see them again soon.
It’s only been three days, but there have been new fewer than a dozen requests to call our friends, see them on the computer and mark their journey on a map.
My 7-year-old wants us to visit for spring break – but I know I can’t promise that.
With the miles between us, the kids’ relationships may change. But I truly believe they’ll always have a special place for each other and that today’s technology won’t allow them to be “apart” for any long length of time.
But it’s still hard to say goodbye.