So Long Neighbors
About two months after we arrived in Old Town, some new neighbors moved in. It took about two minutes for me to fall in love with them.
Our first meeting was out on the sidewalk, me holding eight-month-old Ethan, newly-pregnant Cara chasing after 17-month-old Lyla (who was wearing only a diaper) and I just knew (and hoped!) we were going to be friends.
Both having relocated from the Midwest, both following our husband’s work and not knowing how long we’d be staying, we were in the same boat and very excited to explore our new East Coast city with the kiddos. Who, by the way, hit it off immediately too.
Lyla was Ethan’s first-ever buddy. His first friend that he knew, liked, and wanted to see…all the time. It’s a good thing too, because Cara and I dragged them on lots of walks, lunches, parades, space shuttle fly-bys (even if we were too late), and play dates together. As soon as Ethan could walk he was heading for Lyla’s house. When he started talking he would point and say “Yai-yah” as we passed her front door.
While we exchanged many texts, emails, and sidewalk chats, “grown-up time” was rarely in the cards. But we all had so much in common, the conversation could be endless. I’ve said before that if we only met before kids, we would have been tearing up the town on a regular basis. Alas, the occasional afternoon “Driveway Drinks” while watching the babes play in the water table got us by just fine.
One of my favorite moments of our friendship?
Visiting tiny Baby Mae (what I will probably call her till she’s 30) in the NICU. She was born just one year and one day after Ethan, the same amount of weeks premature. What are the chances two families living two doors apart would both have babies two months early? Insane.
So why am I lamenting these memories today?
Because this morning we are no longer neighbors. Todd has accepted job in Chicago and today marks the beginning of their journey back to the Midwest. We’ve known this was coming for a long time, but knowing didn’t make saying goodbye any easier.
It was like I felt more at home here in Old Town just knowing we had friends right next door. People who’s kids we loved and who loved Ethan—knowing we could always call on each other in a pinch or a downright emergency. Someone who I knew I could call for a last minute outing or just to gossip about the goings-on of the street.
I keep reminding myself though, that this is just the beginning of a life-long friendship. There will be trips to Chicago for us, DC for them, there will be christmas cards and phone calls. And each time we reconnect, our kids will be totally different little people—so much bigger and older and will know so many more things. While it’s incredibly sad to say goodbye, I know the future of our friendship is exciting. And someday we will need to do a parents-only trip…to Mexico…for a week.
Even Lyla knows this is an exciting journey for her family. She told me herself that she’s “going to make lots of new friends, fly on an airplane, and have a big basement in the new house“. What a trooper.
I’m still not looking forward to tomorrow, when we walk by the house two doors down, where Ethan always points and says “Yai-yah”.
So “H” Family, I will forever be glad you made a year detour through DC. We so enjoyed getting to know you and your precious girls. You’ve made our time in this new city so much more special and we can’t thank you enough for coming into our lives. We hope you have neighbors in Chi-Town that are as wonderful to you as you’ve been to us.
Good luck! And See You Soon.