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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Every day is a celebration.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured today in the terrible shooting in Arizona. I cannot imagine how harrowing and devastating this has been for all involved. The title to my post pre-dates this tragedy, but I find it more important now than ever.

Today we were reunited with the our closest friends here in the Keys. Due to all of the holiday busyness and our travel schedule it has been over 2 weeks since we last saw them. They have lovely twin daughters the same age as our older daughter and the wife of the couple is Godmother to our younger daughter. Our husbands get along "like a house a'fire" as we say down South. It's just really, really cool when you are friends with the parents of your child's friends.

Anyhow, our daughters had their first day of Municipal Basketball practice today, a skills test/lesson and a chance for the coaches to see the kids and assess their skill levels so they can be placed on teams. We saw a lot of parents we know this morning, out supporting their kids, enjoying the gorgeous weather, chatting and catching up. The park where we were at is beautiful and tree lined and shady. At times the atmosphere seemed almost like a convivial cocktail party with people laughing and talking and mingling. Some of us decided to go get lunch all together at a seaside burger joint with gorgeous unimpeded views and an ocean breeze.

At lunch I decided to invite the whole clan to dinner at our house on the spur of the moment, since our husbands would be at softball practice together that afternoon, anyhow. After softball I came home and made spaghetti and red sauce, steamed green beans, some frozen heat and serve french bread. I am sure you all have your own favorite spaghetti recipe, but I encourage you to bring it out when you are feeding a big crowd. One box of spaghetti, a can of sauce, a can of tomatoes, some chopped onion and garlic is a pretty economical (and kid pleasing) way to feed a crowd. We asked out friends to stop by the store on the way over and pick up ANYTHING they liked dipped in chocolate for a surprise dessert!

For Christmas we received a small Chocolate Fountain (cue choir of angels: ahhhh!). Let me tell you, if you have ever harbored Augustus Gloop levels of fantasy about chocolate, as I have, you can well appreciate the awesomeness of the aforementioned Chocolate Fountain (ahhhhhhh!) It is simply the most fun you can have fully clothed and in the company of minors. (Ahhhhh... hem.)

Our friends brought bananas, blueberries, strawberries, dried mango, marshmallows, pretzel sticks and apple slices. These were all lovingly bathed in glorious chocolate and consumed with much "mming" and "ahhing" and some more unintelligible grunts of pleasure. The kids all took turns, the big kids helped the little kid spear her blueberries, there wasn't much spilled on the tablecloth; and then after we were fully sated on fruit and endorphins the grown-ups played MarioKart and the kids played dress-up.

All in all a pretty normal day, laid back, nobody did anything crazy or remarkable, but I promise you I will always remember it. One of the few things I know for sure is it doesn't much matter WHAT you do as much as it matters who you are with when it happens. Few things in life are as pleasurable as sharing a meal with folks that really get you, your husband, your sense of humor and your love of oregano. Few things in life are amazing as being around other adults who think you have really awesome kids and you love their kids in return. Few things are as precious as the time we spend with those we love. Friends are the family you make and that should be celebrated; on birthdays, holidays and even random Saturdays.

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