Every year our friends who live in the country have a big campout over Labor Day weekend to celebrate their birthdays. The party has been a tradition since our boys were born, but--for various reasons mostly having to do with subsequent pregnancy and babies--our family hadn't camped out until this year.
But we had to camp this year because it's the last year--at least, the last year in the country. You see, our friends have decided to move to town.
I am 99% thrilled for them in this decision. It means their lives will be so much more convenient. It means they'll have more time with each other. It means their kids will get to go to an awesome school. And it means we will get to see them a lot more.
But what I hadn't quite thought about--until I was sitting around the campfire embers, watching our boys play early Monday morning--is that I'm going to miss their little house in the country.
They are our extended family more than friends at this point, so perhaps it shouldn't surprise me, but we've made a lot of memories at their place. Easter egg hunts and baby showers and painting parties and first meetings of tiny ones and chicken murder....
My son has a favorite tree there (not this one, although he likes it, too).
Our kids have all grown up there, really. A big gaggle of boys, with Little Miss trailing just behind, all being parented by whatever adult happens to be closest at the moment one of them looks like he's threatening to fall into the creek.
It's been a magical place, but--I consoled myself as a collected a few acorns and threw a twig on the fire embers--all those things I just rambled off will transplant to the new house quite well. The topography will be different, yes, but all the welcome and love will be just the same. Isn't it funny what importance we humans attach to "place" when really it's the people at the place that matter?
And then I resolved to spontaneously take my friends dinner some random night next week, just to experience the fun of them being close enough to do so.