As I look over at the necklace sitting on my dresser, it reminds me of a wonderful visit with my friend Christine near my hometown. A few weeks ago, I went home to spend some time with my parents before the fall semester began. And since I was in the neighborhood, I asked my friend if she would be up for a visit since I hadn't seen her since Christmas.
She works part-time from home and has two children, a four-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, and expecting one on the way. We hung out with her kids as we talked. Her daughter asked a few times if she could take out the beading kit she got for her birthday. After fair warning that she would have to share with her brother, she raced upstairs to get the kit and Chris got a memory game for her son to play with as we sat around the coffee table.
We continued our conversation, stringing necklaces with Chris's kids (She was of course carefully supervising her kids with the small pieces and helping when necessary.). I made her daughter a necklace as she worked on a bracelet. For her second project, she made me a necklace. Chris and I helped her to sound out the letters in my name and then she added more beads as she saw fit. When her daughter was almost done, she asked me if I would mind having an orange bead. I said of course not. Chris asked her why the question about the orange bead. Her response, "Well, orange is a boy color." Chris and I had to laugh and then Chris told her that orange can be a boy color or a girl color. She asked her daughter about one of the dresses she has in her closet that is orange to dispel the myth. Her daughter also invited me to come back and visit at Christmastime so that I could go with them to Pettiti's Garden Center and see the talking tree.
Chris's son was a little slow to warm up because it takes him a little while to wake up from his nap to be ready to play. But as the afternoon continued, he joined in the play in helping his mom to string beads for a bracelet. He also enjoyed toting around his favorite garbage truck and arranging the memory picture cards.
Then as the weekend was approaching, I just kept getting a feeling like I should give Chris a call. I once read that if you keep thinking about a person, then you should get in touch with them. Then I got an email from my friend happily announcing the birth of her third child, a baby girl. (Long story short--she left her cell phone at home in the mix of going to the hospital.) I took that as a sign that I should call her the next day and was only expecting to leave a voicemail to tell her my congratulations. As it turns out, Chris picked up the call and was happy to talk because her newborn was sleeping, her husband was at home with the two other kids. At the moment, she was a bit bored sitting in the hospital and welcomed the call and we are gabbers, so it worked out well.
After Chris told me about her birth story and how the rest of the hospital visit was going, I decided to share with her how much our last visit meant to me. I started to get a little choked up and she asked if I was okay. I told her that it was happy tears and thanked her for sharing her time with me and also spending it with her children. I was grateful for sharing in a lovely, carefree afternoon. I was very touched with her daughter's kindness in giving me the necklace and her kids were very sweet in how they played with each other. Chris said you're welcome and thanked me. She said that her kids were looking forward to me coming all day. And whenever they see a map that has Pittsburgh labeled on it, they say, "Pittsburgh, that is where Jamie is!" It's fun and meaningful to be seen as someone special in the eyes of a child.