Friday, March 19, 2004

Sifting Through Memories...

This is going to be a wonderful weekend... and a very hard one.

We started it off in grand style by taking Nick out to a local restaurant called “Jungle Jim’s” that has lots of stuff to look at around the room (jungle theme, tiny plastic animals hidden in the fake plants, strings of lights in the shapes of peppers or parrots etc.) The girls proudly announced that it was their Daddy’s Birthday Dinner and so the whole staff (two of whom are former students and almost all of whom remember the 40th Birthday embarrassment last year) came out to sing the wonderful “I don’t know but I’ve been told.... someone here is getting OLD! I don’t know but it’s been said.... someone’s face is going red.... Happy Birthday... Happy Birthday to YOU!” chant that my girls just love. Since Nick is allergic to chocolate, we just ordered a piece of cheesecake to stick the sparkler into rather than the free chocolate cake. I’d like to have him around for 42!!

Tomorrow is the last session of swimming and gymnastics for the girls and a fairly quiet afternoon finishing off presents for Sunday. Sunday morning is Nick’s actual birthday, so I expect the girls may pounce on him instead of letting him sleep in. Erin is singing in church as part of the Sunbeam youth choir and there is a special soup luncheon afterwards. We’ll head home after that and get ready for the special party/celebration/goodbye event at our house that night.

Nine years ago, 6 other teachers on staff with Nick were pregnant during the same time as I was. Everyone joked that there was something in the water cooler that boosted fertility. Nick and I started the mini baby boom off with Erin’s birth in April and the last baby was born the following October... but it made for lots of baby jokes and we even started having some “Moms & Tots” parties after the kids were born. From that larger circle, two other families stayed really close with ours and our kids have all grown up like cousins to each other. We have shared joys and tears, life events and lots of giggles. When one of the families moved out West for almost 2 years, it felt like forever until they were home again. Now the other family is moving 1 1/2 hours away to Fredericton. It will be hard to say “goodbye”, but at least this is close enough that we can still plan some of our special get togethers and yearly traditions like visits to the apple orchard and making Gingerbread Houses together!!

I put together an album of some of my favourite photos of “our gang” to send with Clan Tremblay (Twins took their family from 4 to 6 last year, so I think they deserve clan status) and while it was fun to relive some of those wonderful memories, it was also hard... because I know that I will miss them. I wonder if this is how my parents felt when so many of their friends left Quebec in the mass exodus after Bill 101 when many companies relocated offices to Toronto or elsewhere in Canada?

Life is all about change and growth.... but I don’t think any kind of goodbye is ever easy!

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