Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to the 'Hood

Every time I go home I worry about what it's going to be like to go back to my neighborhood.  I can't call it my "old" neighborhood because it's still mine and someday we'll go back (at least that is the plan right now).  I stress about if we will still feel like we will belong.  If we will still connect with our friends like the old days.  If Aidan will still feel like he belongs... heck, if I feel like I still belong.  And for Liam, well, it's about if Liam even remembers the neighborhood - last year he didn't even remember our house much less the people.

And every year I go back and realize, happily... very little has changed.  I mean, of course, some things have changed.  But what hasn't changed is how wonderful our friends are and how welcome they make us feel, as though we never left.  There are hugs and kisses all around and then it's just back to normal.  The kids running through the yards and now they are doing it with the freedom to not have to be under constant adult supervision.  The adults hanging out in the street or on the deck having a drink.  It's so mellow and easy and it makes me miss home so much.

I wrote an entry not that long ago about "out of sight, out of mind" and it's true.  I can manage to not miss home that much when I've been away for a while.  Not being here on a day to day basis enables me to compartmentalize (yet not completely forget) just how wonderful things are here and how much I love being here all of the time and to focus on our European adventures.  But when I come bac, I realize just how big of a piece this neighborhood has of my heart and soul and it's the people that make it that way.  I can see why Aidan misses it so much.

I actually missed Aidan's reunion with his best friends.  I was out buying my new MacBook :).  Josh took the kids to the dentist (who is this man and what did he do with my husband who in 8 years has never ever ever been to a dr or dentist appt with our children) and then straight to the 'hood.  But there was no doubt in my mind that Aidan picked up right where he left off.  It amazes me how kids can not be in contact for the majority of a year (Aidan is not really at an age where Skype or letter writing is of interest to him) and pick up so easily and naturally. 

He was playing like crazy with his best friend Nate and yet giving the cold shoulder to his other best friend, Lindsey.  Well, it wasn't really the cold shoulder.  You see, as far as Lindsey's mother, Michele, and I...the two of them are meant to be together.  Over the years they have always been and still are, incredibly close.  She is by far his closest girl-friend that he has.  And we just think they are meant to be.  So when we got there and all they would do is look over each other's shoulders and smirk at each other, we would just laugh.  It's like they were flirting with each other!!!  The first day they said not one word to each other!  But don't worry, they've since reconnected :) 

One of the highlights of the last few days is getting to meet Brookie.  Our next door neighbors and super close friends, Debbi and Dennis, adopted her from China this past summer and while I've seen plenty of pictures, it's not the same as meeting her in person and being a part of her life.  Josh has had the priviledge of meeting her a few times but this was my first and it was precious.  I feel terrible at the time I've missed out with her but feel so lucky to get to spend some time with her before we go back!! 

So anyways, we've been trying to spend and will continue to spend, a bunch of our time in the 'hood catching up with friends.  We'll be there most of this weekend as well as for the 4th.  The boys are absolutely in their element being with their bff's from home and so am I!  I'm sure there will be other entries about our time visiting all these great friends but for now here are a few pics of all the kids together!

The look of utter happiness on Aidan's face says it all... he and his bff, Nate, reunited after a year - and nothing has changed...

Liam and his friend, Caleb on their scooters
Swingset fun...

Liam not feeling 100% and just chilling out on the slide

Sue, this one is for you... you can't really see the nose ring well though...

Liam and Ashley taking a break...

Trouble in the treehouse...

The gang...

Aidan getting a welcome home hug from Sue... more like an attack but it put a huge smile on his face!

More of the gang

Plotting something I'm sure...

Arms in the air like you just don't care!!

It's Super Barbie!!  I mean, Ashley Rose!!  Singing star sensation!

Finally they reunite... Aidan and Linz

Liam in the pool... further than he was in last year!

Liam and his buddy Aaron causing trouble... he terrified me going up the rock wall up to the top, I was waiting for him to fall backwards.  I'm really hoping for no ER trip this vacation!

Pool fun

This is right after Aaron arrived... Liam ran out to see them and they just chatted it up - so cute...

And then they went to the table to talk some more... I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear them!

This is in my front yard... then Shane gets home (he's living there now) and Linz tells him... "hey this is the guy who used to live in this house" as she introduced Aidan to Shane.  Hysterical!


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