Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just like family

Sixteen years ago (really?! wow!) I moved myself and my daughter to the Atlanta area. It didn’t seem odd or scary for me to move to a city where I didn’t really know anyone or have family because I had been living in Upstate New York for seven years with mainly myself to rely on.

In fact, my family slogan, which I told my daughter, “It’s me and you against the world.” I was relaying that regardless of what happens, what we go through and what needs to be done we’ll always have each other. When I got married in 2002 my circle expanded a little, but I was still on an island with only my family without consistence, genuine interaction and help from his family. The sense of family (the” in laws”) I had totally disappeared when we separated in 2007 and divorced in 2009. The island became really deserted; only this time I had three small children and a teenager who jumped back into the “me and you” role immediately.

It appears married women who were supposedly my friends don’t want to be around a single, divorced mom. (I guess I am going to steal all of their husbands.) That makes for a really lonely existence, but as a mom and a woman I handle my business. And when I moved from my house to an apartment I didn’t expect life or my circle of friends to change.

Of course it’s different for the children who quickly made friends with two children next door. I scoped out these new friends through the window. Checking to see how they played, talked, shared, etc. My three and their two immediately developed a bond and invited each other into their apartments. ‘Wait,’ I said, ‘you gotta ask your mom’ and to mine I said, ‘No, wait for them outside.’

image A couple of more days/weeks passed and the children next door were allowed to come and their mom came over to make sure it’s okay. A few inquires about bandages, falls, scrapes, snacks and the like – all pretty much orchestrated by the kids – led to my interacting with the couple next door.

The result? I so love and appreciate them. Having them next door is like having a sister, a brother, a nephew and a niece. They’re such a “cute” (that’s so not the right word!) couple and the kids are wonderful. I am a little amazed because I can be antisocial, but – more than that – I just don’t let my children converge on someone else or invade their space. Thanks to those little people we finally have family.