I was lucky enough to grow up with six families that were very much weaved into my family. Birthday parties, pick-up baseball games, park picnics, champagne on Christmas morning; there are very few childhood memories that do not involve at least one of seventeen other “houseboat kids.”
Some twenty-odd years after our parents originally met in our kindergarten class; we are spread across the country. The twelve parents still live the half-mile encompassing the boulevard of our hometown and partake in book clubs, houseboat adventures and formal Christmas dinners. And while all thirty of us are rarely all together, there are occasions in which many gather together to celebrate and drink champagne.
I love, absolutely love, these times, being amongst the people who made me who I am. And here’s the thing about people you’ve known forever: you don’t forget how to be with them. The jokes that were funny then are funny still. One of you starts with half a memory and the other recalls the rest of it. You laugh. You catch-up on your lives.
At any rate, having a chance to see our babies together, a generation later, to spend time together running in the grass, singing, counting pebbles and bonding over summertime popsicles is the most wonderful of all. Having a chance to see our parents play with their grandchildren, singing nursery rhymes with chubby fingers clasped to their own makes my heart melt.
They reach for one another’s hand, lace their fingers together and swing hands to and fro. They play together, exchanging quick hugs and high-fives and unintelligible babbles. They kiss one another shyly, learning their first lessons in friendship.
And THAT plus a little champagne was my weekend.