My kids. I love them to the moon, beyond and back again, (yes, even when they frustrate me). They have enriched my life and made me a better person in every way possible. They have opened doors for me in my life and connected me to people in ways that I could never begin to thank them for.
Recently I was asked a question that even though it made me really sit back and think, I knew the answer immediately.
The question was, what is the most unexpected gift my kids have given me?
My answer to this question is my amazing village of friends.
Now let me back up just a bit so that I can explain why I wholeheartedly cherish this unexpected gift so very much. Almost 12 years ago, when I was 23 years old, I gave birth to my first child, my son Reece. I met my now husband about a year after that and we decided to buy a home together in his hometown, which was about an hour away from Philadelphia, the city that I had always called home. When we moved into our home I felt completely alone, as I didn’t know anyone in my new town, other than my husband’s already built-in friends, and I was at least an hour away from my family and friends in Philadelphia. I went through a period of time where my normally social and outgoing nature changed into being more withdrawn and introverted as I did not have very many people outside of my home to connect with.
Fast forward a little bit to when my son started going to preschool and he would come home and chatter on about all of the friends he was meeting and how he would like to play with some of these friends outside of school. My immediate reaction was ugh. I thought to myself that I did not know these kids or their parents, so how in the hell was I going to set something up for my son to play and expand upon his friendships with people who I did not even know. Well I bit the bullet and left my name and phone number in a cubby of a kid in my son’s preschool class and asked his mother to please call if she would like to get the boys together soon.
Fast forward almost 9 years later and that mother, myself and our families have built a friendship that has a foundation of many fabulous times, and has even survived when they had to move halfway across the country a few years ago.
When my son started elementary school I started to get anxious and a bit withdrawn again because I had a new baby (my daughter, Tatum had just been born the summer before Reece started first grade), Reece was changing to a new school (ugh I had to meet new people all over again), and I always felt in the back of my mind that people were judging me because I was the “young mom”. Well, I have to admit that I was wrong. It was not long into Reece’s first grade year that he had made some close-knit friendships and thanks to his outgoing, friendly nature, I became more like my former outgoing and friendly self and I met and formed some amazing relationships with so many of his friends parents. I am now back in that beginning stage with my soon to be 6-year-old daughter and I can now happily say that it is a great place to be in.
[bctt tweet=”Who knew that my kids would bring my life such an unexpected gift of friends? “]
The next time I am asked what is the most unexpected gift my kids have given me? The simple answer is a quality of friendships that is immeasurable. But the long answer is:
Friends whom I can happily consider to be like family.
Friends that I can count on to take care of my children as if they were their own.
Friends that have opened doors for my kids and shown them things that they may otherwise have not been exposed to.
Friends that have helped me navigate sanely through this parenting journey.
Friends that I can call on (or text) at a moments notice to schedule a girls night, because they understand the importance of our bond, and not just our kids relationships with one another.
Friends that have been there to help me and my family celebrate the good times in life, as well as listen during the rough times.
The list of priceless ways that my friends have enriched my life could go on and on. I could have never imagined that the two small people in my life could have given me such an unexpected gift.
To my kids I want to say thank you. Reece and Tatum, you will never know just how much I cherish your unexpected and priceless gift that you both have brought into my life.
To my friends I want to say thank you. Thank you for getting to know me, for spending time with me, for making memories with me and for being such an important part of my family’s life.
Share with me an unexpected gift that someone has brought to your life.