Two of my three children were in tears for a good part of our ride back home yesterday after visiting a friend at the river and the littlest was quickly asleep. If you live in Virginia you know that "the river" is a generic, catchall term such as Kleenex or Google for any of the probably hundreds of creeks and rivers that empty into the Chesapeake Bay. If you're close enough to the bay the rivers are tidal and brackish and the whole environment changes with the added salt. The buildings are weathered and fishing boats become easily rusted, many of the people follow suit (the term "old salt" conjures a whole new image), the jelly fish are abundant in parts this time of the summer as are the blue crabs. Oysters are everywhere and herons and egrets and if you're lucky you'll see a bald eagle or two.
But let's get back to the tears. Lauren started the ball rolling early on, weepy and tearful over the 4 large black dogs we'd left behind and one in particular that she's fallen deeply in love with. John felt her emotion I think and his tears were for the love of all that we'd left behind. Not just the pets but also the crabs, the water, the boat rides and tubing and especially someone who's becoming a very close friend. He said more than once that he'd like to move.
As a mother I consider myself lucky when we find nice children from nice families to be friends with. I consider it an added bonus if I become friends with their mother and even more rare and special if all four parents become friends. But for my kids to love the children of one of my oldest, closest and dearest friends I feel more than fortunate, I wish there was a word for it. The fact that they were instant buddies when they first met after the baby stage shouldn't have surprised me, after all, that's how their mothers started out.
But these visits seem all the more sweet since they are so infrequent and brief, packed with play and intimate chats, and we wish that they didn't have to be this way. There comes a point though when the optimist in me is merely thankful for what she can get.
And when the sun sets on each visit I'm left to wonder if it's prettier at the river, or here at home, but then the optimist takes over and I'm thankful for each one that I'm alotted, no matter where I am when I view it.