This past Friday, Frances, George and I returned from another visit with my parents in Lynchburg – and it was wonderful! Not perfect, not stress-free, not easy, but wonderful nonetheless. The three of us ended up camping out two days longer than planned to help my mother out with the doggies while she escaped to Texas to visit some friends (should I be worried that she left the ‘burg in the middle of my visit?), but Frank was there in the mornings and at night and Frances, George and I had plenty to do. And of course, there was ample Nana time before she left…
My parents’ house is very easy to visit and although it is beautifully decorated (think Southern Living meets Real Simple meets Pottery Barn) it’s surprisingly child-friendly and Frances and George blend right in.
My mother's beautiful screened-in porch
Typical George look
Snack on the porch
Popcorn in the family room
Whenever I am in town, I try to visit my step-cousin Mary who has two adorable boys Ryan (5) and Spencer (3). Our schedules don’t always match up, but the timing worked well this time around and we were able to meet up at her house (i.e. the incredible toy house) for a rainy afternoon play date. Frances is still talking about the moon bounce in Mary’s basement and George is still obsessed with the balloons they were generously given on the way out of the door (did I tell you this house is heaven on earth for children?).
While Mary and I are cousins (by marriage—Frank and Mary’s father are brothers), we have been great friends since high school when we both attended the Virginia School of the Arts. I have so many lasting friendships from my high school years at that school and I treasure my time with Mary, although it is always fleeting. Mary is one of those effortless beauties (Frances calls her “Snow White”), but she is also so kind, easy to be around and generous with her house and her time.
The four cousins in various stages of happiness/sadness
Is it no wonder that Frances and George love visiting?!
Frances, George and I made our way through the Lynchburg attractions (playgrounds, children’s museum, grocery store, Wal-Mart on day 5 – we were getting a bit desperate) during our five-day visit and we ran into several of my childhood friends and their children (all very close to F&G’s ages). It was such a comfort to see these friendly faces and made me realize how nice it would be to have some better friends in my neighborhood. I am hopeful that meeting other mothers in my similar situation (young children, compatible interests, maybe some even some former professionals turned full-time mothers) will come easily, but so far I haven’t had any luck. I have many long-distance friends from my various walks of life (high school, dance, college, law school) that I visit as often as I can; but I am feeling lonely for some local friends and need to figure out how to meet these women without feeling like I am the new kid on her first day of school looking for someone to sit with me at lunch.
Until then, Frances, George and I will continue to figure out our own little routine, which is certain to include more trips to Lynchburg (for my upcoming 10th college reunion – how did that happen?!) and other unknown outings that I am eager to uncover.
Happy weekend everyone!