I awoke to this scene this morning, which evoked dread, devastation, and a hint of acceptance.
Our neighbors our moving. And these aren't just any old neighbors.
Our neighbors moved in in March of 2010 - just a few days after I started my first "sabbatical" from work. Having only lived in the 'burbs a short time, I wasn't quite sure what the customs were with new neighbors. No one ever came to welcome us to the neighborhood, and I suppose I didn't expect them to. But when I noticed that they had three young boys running around their back yard, one of whom looked close to Braden's age, I decided to hell with custom. We brought over a bottle of wine, and the rest is history.
Heather really got me through those first few months of being home. Having recently become a stay at home mom herself, we bonded over the million dollar questions: What do we do all day? How do we adjust to this new identity? The answers ultimately became different for both of us (particularly as she has 3 to deal with, two of which are older). But at least once a week, the answer to that question meant spending time together. And for the past two years, we've had weekly playdates, with rare exception.
As it turns out, we have a lot in common besides our addresses. We both have lawyer husbands who work long hours. We both are self proclaimed wine-os. We both are foodies. We both love the Real Housewives. We have a People Magazine and US Magazine exchange going (I suppose I'll have to subscribe to People myself now). We're both from the midwest. And we both have boys - only boys. And in that way, we bonded in a way that only moms of boys can (for you moms of boys out there, you know what I mean).
As friends, and neighbors, we had each other's backs. You know how when you're in a bind people always offer things up, but you rarely take them up on it? Because you aren't sure if they are sincere or you don't want to put them out? That wasn't Heather. She talked the talk. She was my back up babysitter for Braden when I was pregnant should I go into labor early. She was my babysitter for Braden when I was in the throws of post partum depression with Casey. She watched my kids with a smile so that I could go to lunches with fellow bloggers. She brought over leftovers. She took care of packages when we were out of town. She dealt with my extremely obnoxious dog. She let me cry to her when I was going through a rough time. I like to think I reciprocated, but at the end of the day, Heather always gives more than she takes. That's just who she is.
Heather has taught me so much in the two years I have known here. She taught me how to be a better mom. How to be a better cook (though she is still far superior to me in this department). How to be more patient with my husband when he has to work late. How to let Braden play in a room where I can't see him and not freak out. How to be a better friend. And how to be a good neighbor.
I like to think everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I curse the house we live in. Because it'd old. Because it's small. Because we paid way too much for it in 2007 when we thought we were getting a great deal. But if we hadn't moved here, I would have never met Heather. And I know that you don't come across neighbors, and friends, like this too often in life.
To say I am sad that our neighbors are moving is the understatement of the year. Thankfully, they will still only be a 40 minute drive away. And I am so happy for them, and a tad envious of the INCREDIBLE home they are moving into.
But man, will we miss them.