I should have known Brandi and I would become kindred friends after our first conversation--about sweaty armpit stains. I adored Brandi from the get-go, and we have many cherished memories with these dear friends.
As is typical of our time together, we spent the time talking about this, that, and everything. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, and sometimes we are talking about such heavy stuff, the whole world seems to rest on our shoulders alone. Then we'll snap back into conversation about something that lightens the mood, and all is right in the world again.
Sunday night, as the sun was setting, the four of us adults sat around a table on our back patio. All the children, with the exception of the newborn in Brandi's arms, were playing a few yards away from us. The noises coming from the children sounded like their numbers were multiplied, but there was nothing but joy and laughter emanating from that area of the garden.
As I looked at the children playing, I couldn't help but think aloud that what we were seeing and hearing is what I believe those children's memories will be filled of when they one day recall time spent with the Wieland/Sowby families together.
All of which are mostly true. It was a different time.
Sunday night as Brandi and I visited, part of our conversation took us to the fact that in a year from now, all of my children will be in school, and in 2 years from now, all of my children will be in school full-time. No longer something I count the days until. Although, a few years back in my mothering, I know I did.
A few hours after that conversation, as our goodbyes were being said, Brandi's 4 year old pee-ed her pants as she was getting into the car. As Brandi and I returned to the house to retrieve some clean-up items, Brandi, in that moment of frustration all of us mothers have, quipped sarcastically, "And how much longer do I have dealing with this stuff?!?" (She just had a baby 2 months ago.)
Almost in harmony we both said aloud my favorite phrase, which she is known to quote often now too, "The days are long, but the years are short."
It is so cliche, but OH SO TRUE!
I returned to the house after the final goodbyes were said. After banishing everybody upstairs, I chose to finish cleaning up the kitchen alone. My mind immediately went to the fond memory of our KFC dinner on our tiny patio. Life has changed. No longer would any of us feel as though we have no stresses, or never experienced any heavy life experiences. And although we are all still "young", I know none of us feel like we have our whole lives ahead of us as we did 16 years ago sitting in mismatched chairs, half of which didn't belong outside.
Time passes quickly.
Hair starts turning grey.
More pounds stick to our bones.
Now when we get together we sit outside on matching patio furniture chairs. If we wanted a photo of us, we'd have any number of children to ask to take it, instead of using a self-timer old fashioned roll of film camera. Our conversations are frequently interrupted by children and teenagers.
The days are long.
But they're good.