When Sandie and her family packed up and moved south in 2008, Matthew was quite devastated by the loss of his friends, particularly his friend of the same age; though he was only mid-way between four and five years old at the time, he talked about them regularly for close to a year, wishing they would come back. It was a real grief process for him which, now that I know better how Matthew processes things, wouldn't surprise me now...but it did back then. We had all hoped to visit together last summer when Sandie came up to visit with her family, but the day we'd set to get together was the day after d-day (when Imagine's bankruptcy happened) and I had to cancel because I wasn't able to function in those early days. Then, at Christmas time, when we flew down to California on vacation, Sandie and I had hoped to connect (with the boys), but wouldn't you know it...Sandie's family was away from home throughout our time there. We were determined to get the boys together during their visit this summer!
Although it had been two years since Matthew had seen his friends, he had held onto very clear and fond memories of them, and was very (very) excited to see them last week. He spent the half hour before they were due to arrive sitting on the front steps and watching as cars passed by once in a while; every few minutes, he'd pop his head inside to call out "when will they be here?" This was usually accompanied by a very loud, and impatient-sounding, groan.
Finally, they arrived (a few minutes late, to Matthew's chagrin! lol). There was a brief moment coming up the steps into the house when all three kids stared at each other and appeared to be gauging each other, as if adjusting their mental picture to fit the taller-and-somewhat-different-looking kids standing before them. And then they were off. I barely had time to say hello to Sandie's boys before they all disappeared. It was like not a moment had passed - they picked up immediately from where they'd left off and had a great time together. And because of that, their two moms were able to sit in the (new) library with a cup of coffee and catch up a bit. The hours flew by. Saying good-bye later on was hard, and I have a feeling that Matthew will be mourning their departure for some time to come. It's a good thing he's part of a generation that will find it normal to have friends spread across countries and continents!
Anyway, here they are. Matthew is in the middle, looking smugly as if he's just won the lottery...and maybe he has...after all, there's an old Jewish saying that he "who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure."