Through an unlikely turn of events we were very lucky the night before last to receive a visit from a friend from our college days. The boys took to her--literally surrounding her car-- before she even had a chance to pull all the way up our driveway. The kindness and attention she paid them clinched the deal and now--whether she likes it or not-- they've officially added her to their ever growing list of friends. We really enjoyed seeing her and remembering our college days which are a while ago now, but shouldn't be. Aren't we still twenty three and twenty four? That's about when I stopped counting anyway.
Then yesterday we spent the day with new friends who had us over for lunch and kept us for dinner. Theirs is the kind of home where everyone feels welcome and the phone rings all day with people calling who know where to find a listening ear. The children played happily with hardly an incident and were reluctant to leave even when bedtime approached. The four youngest boys fell asleep on the drive back but my oldest son kept me company up front, helping to navigate and chatting with me about this and that.
Once we arrived, Simeon laughed at the irony of having to wake everyone up in order to put them to bed. My husband met us outside and we all chipped in making light work of it-- stripping shorts off children now curled up on the carpet, wiggling slumbering limbs through pjs, and tucking each dozy, contended child into his blankets.
While we were away, an older neighbor couple the boys befriended when they passed our house each night on their evening walk had stopped by to leave a tin of blueberry muffins and a tin of brownies on our porch. There was also a half slice of Tiramisu--my most favorite dessert in all the world--that my husband had saved for me from a lunch he had gone to earlier in the day.
Before falling asleep, I thought over all these blessings...old friends, new friends, kind neighbors, happy children, a thoughtful husband...and just when I thought nothing could add to the moment, an unmistakable first message came from the womb...
...and the promise of good things to come.