Last week was wonderful and culminated in a brilliant party for Flo’s 1st and my Dad’s 60th birthday.
I’d been watching the weather all week and we were, at best, hoping for a three hour window of ‘OK’ weather in the afternoon. Other than that I was steeling myself for having everyone indoors and the carpets being destroyed!
Fortunately, luck was on our side and the almighty thunderstorms we’d been forecast completely passed us by. It was sunny and very, very hot!
After everyone had arrived, food had been served and I was able to sit and relax with a glass of wine I found myself reflecting on the mix of guests. As the party was partly for my Dad, half the garden was our friends and their kids chatting and playing while the other half was Dad and his friends.
Sitting and watching took me back to my childhood. These people were friends that had been around forever, since before I was born. They were the ones always referred to as ‘Uncle’ and ‘Aunty’ despite no actual blood ties. And to me, they didn’t look any different to when I was younger. Yet instead of talking about their next holiday, diving, flying, what cars they were going to get next or what boat one of them had just bought, they were talking retirement, moving to France or Devon and how their kids ranged in age from 15 to 39… At which point I realised (with horror) the 39 year old was me!!
I loved the ease of having these friends around. We don’t see each other so much these days and I’ve lost touch with their children who I grew up with as life took us in different directions. Yet, Saturday, having them in the garden with beers in hand, apart from the different conversation, I could have been 12 again, playing on the beach waiting for the dive boats to come back… or 16 and being teased about having a drink or whether there were any boys on the scene.
But more than anything, they’ve always ‘been there’ at the important events in my life.
It’s funny how friends come and go throughout your life yet some stand the test of time no matter how different your lives turn out, or how rarely you see each other. I often wonder what’s the deciding factor between those who come and go, and those who stay forever.
And I found myself wondering about the future. I hope our friends will continue to be as big a part of our girls lives as Dad’s have been in mine.