About three years ago, a mom's group formed amongst several women who attending weekly meetings at the Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington. On face, we had four things in common - the means we were attempting to feed our children, the fact that breastfeeding was far from easy or worry-free, we were all first-time moms, and we lived in the greater DC metro area. At the time, it didn't seem like much to base a friendship on. But luckily, Vickie thought differently. She wasn't the person who started the group, but she was always the person I considered to be the unofficial leader of the group. She was - and is - a font of creativity. She spearheaded the Big Birthday Bash - a now annual event that celebrates both the aging of our children and the aging of our friendship. She allowed Connor to attend a playgroup at her house that had circle time and projects. Projects! She didn't know it at the time, but every circle time experience prior to the one in her living room, Connor completely ignored. But he always sought to impress Vickie. In fact, if Connor could choose his mom, he might very well choose her over me - and that's saying a lot because we have a great relationship!
It seems like only a few weeks ago we bade Teo, a pregnant Vickie, and Benjie adieu as they headed up to Baltimore. It took a lot of work for me to muster up the courage to tell Connor they were leaving, but it was OK because I was able to soothe Connor with the promise that we would visit Baltimore. And Connor loved every visit we made. Teo treated us to the Children's Museum (twice), the Science Center, and his toys (which Connor loves because Teo has GOOD TOYS!). Now, Vickie is no longer pregnant, and come Friday, they will no longer live in Baltimore. Due to another job change, they are moving to New York City. NEW.YORK.CITY. That is far. It's no longer a quick drive up the parkway. It will take actual planning to get there - and I know we won't be there very often.
Connor knows Teo is moving. He knows we aren't going to see him for a long time. He thinks about it too. A few days ago in the car he piped up from the backseat "Why does Teo have to move so much?" and as I choked back my own tears, I explained to him that people often live where their daddies work, and Teo's daddy got a new job. I could tell Connor was trying to figure out how to get his own daddy a new job. And I held back those same tears today when I told Connor we were leaving and he and Teo leaned into each other and gave each other a big hug for the road. A hug not unlike the one Connor gave Teo in the midst of a water feature at a museum that landed them in a big heap on top of each other with a goose-egg on the back of Connor's head - which was only fair since Connor initiated the hug.
It's hard to see Teo leave because in the past few months, he's changed a ton - and I just know he's going to keep changing. Vickie doesn't see it all of the time, but Teo and Connor are so much alike that I always just assumed they'd be the best of friends when they got to the age when the started choosing their own friends. They both line up cars, creating endlessly long trains; they both love bouncing on Vickie's bed; they both can look at the same thing for a considerable length of time and you can see wheels turning as they figure out the mechanics of objects; they both sob as if the world is coming to and end on occasion when they have been jilted by the world; and while Teo is more advanced than Connor in his spelling skills, both have a keen interest in figuring out how combinations of letters fit together to form words; I have seen them both run as if there is nothing in the world to care about except the next step; they were also both absolutely horrible sleepers in the beginning and would both love to nap for four hours every afternoon and stay up until 10:00 at night - to this day - if Vickie and I would let them. And now, they both have little sisters.
I guess I should expect these departures since I choose to live in an area of transients, but it doesn't make them any easier.
Good luck on Friday. May New York treat you well, my dear friends. And heck, maybe Connor and I will just take an adventure on the Chinatown bus some Friday after school and see what it's like to spend a weekend in NYC.
Elaine (and Connor)