Often as adults, we don't make many new friends. We tend to tighten down our little circles - school friends, work friends, social acquaintances. But sometimes, you get the chance to make new, real friends. Such is the case with this awesome family. We first met when our oldest daughters attended the same Sparks group. Claire and I attended a couple of events with the group and chatted a little bit. Our girls also went to the same school, we later realized, but on opposite kindergarten days.
Then my youngest daughter and their son started in the same kindergarten class. They became fast friends and were mostly inseparable. In fact, they were more like siblings than friends - rough-housing and plotting sneak scare attacks in whispers, laughing like loons when their plans worked. Our eldest daughters also had class together and bickered and loved like sisters too. I would often chat with Steve or Claire as we waited for the final school bell to ring and a friendship was born. With our kids in the same classes, we kept each other up on the in-class dramas of our oldest girls and commiserated over the younger ones' lack of desire to learn to read. And all the while, their littlest, a social butterfly, would be merrily sharing lots of stories with me about her day. Fast forward through several field trips, backyard barbeques and more than a few beers, wine and coolers while playing Dutch Blitz you see a couple of families who can spend a few hours together with no fighting kids (okay, well maybe a few arguments here and there - they are like siblings, I tell ya!) and crack each other up on those early breakfast club volunteer mornings.
We planned a little session together way back in June but I was waiting to blog these until their Christmas cards were sent, since I knew she was planning on using a few from the session as a surprise for long-distance relatives. It is amazing how looking at these now, a few months later, you can almost forget the swarm of mosquitoes that was eating us all alive before the bug spray arrived, or the sensation of my hand coming up wet out of a fresh puddle of dog urine...almost.
I have to say, my very favourite part of this session was when we headed back to their house near the end, to capture some images in their backyard and on their front porch. I think this has to happen for EVERY session from now on. The home is where the heart is and to have those memories of the life they are creating together in that home are so precious. Get ready for me to come to your house, people! ;)
Our family is so lucky to have found such wonderful, kind and hilarious friends and we look forward to many more years of laughter and friendship. And chili with lots of corn.