Last year my godparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. As a gift to them the guests of the party were invited to write and share a special memory during the party.
I was unable to attend the celebration as my family was 6 months into living on a completely different coast than the one on which I was raised. When I sat down to write my memory for my parents to share with my godparents at the party, I could not come up with one specific memory to share. I started to sweat a little and wonder how on earth I could have spent that much time with my godparents and not have a single thing to say about them and our times together on their anniversary.
Then it hit me-I didn’t have one memory, I had a lifetime of memories:
Congratulations on 50 years of marriage. I’m sorry we couldn’t join you tonight, but we are sending our love from the west coast.
First and foremost, thank you for being a part of every major life event I’ve had. As I contemplated what memory to share I realized I don’t have one special one, because y’all have been there for all of them; from birthdays, to graduation, my wedding day, and the birth of my boys, you have been there. Now, as an adult, and a military spouse who moves a lot, I see how truly special that is…that all my best days include you. Thank you for showing up; for being the best Godparents a girl could ask for. I love you both.
I quickly emailed it off to my mom in time for the party and then I bawled-ugly cried-for my own boys who will not grow up living in the same place surrounded by people who have loved them and been there for all the big events of their whole lives.
It’s been a little over a year since I wrote that for my godparents and ugly cried for my boys. The perspective I have today on the transient life my family and I lead causes me to cry but not out of the grief of what my boys will miss.
This last year has been crazy-new jobs, new school, new house and mostly importantly a new village. Over the course of the past 12 months my family and I cultivated relationships with other families that have become our West Coast village. We have dinners together several times a month. We go to church together. We watch each other’s kids. We have park dates and babysit so the adults can have real dates. We pick up kids from school and we all know where the snack cabinet is in each other’s houses. These are my people and most importantly my boys’ people.
The gifts and talents that each adult and family brings to our group is something only crafted by a power greater than myself. Watching the way that these friends love on and show up for my boys is incredible. I am constantly blown away by their hospitality and willingness to be such an inclusive village.
Most recently, I realized that though I love my village for all the things that are easy to spot-the babysitting, the carpools, the park dates- it’s what they take the time to notice about my boys that makes me teary. Their ability to see my boys for who each of them is individually and speak those things to each child is something this mama’s heart treasures more than all the park dates one can make in sunny San Diego.
Last night as we were saying prayers together my youngest son, who had spent all afternoon and evening with members of our village, said he was grateful for them “letting him come in their house.” Gratitude, honestly spoken, as only a 6 year old can. And while I know he is grateful for being able to “come in their house,” the real gratitude comes from being let into their hearts.