Monday, 11 June 2012

Friday Drinks. On Monday.

The final rainiest day of the long weekend.

I only had to drive was about 2.5 km to the local shopping centre and I nearly drowned. It was heaving with people desperate to get themselves out of the house and out of the rain and buy some stuff.

Grocery shopping took about 40 mins, then I waited a similar amount of time for a takeaway coffee.  How long is it appropriate to wait for a coffee?  It's not like I had much alternative but 40 minutes is almost long enough to send me home for a Moccona.

But not quite.  Because for me, that would be madness.  No disrespect to all you instant coffee lovers out there.

I was privileged to catch up this afternoon with two of our dearest family friends.  Both families used to live next door to us (well, next door and next door to that to be accurate).  We have been through a lot together.

Nothing specific, just raising lots of tiny kids and dealing with the associated day to day monotony and exhaustion without going bonkers.

When I met these girls, Sarah was just about to turn 1.  As the new neighbour, I was invited for morning tea.  One had 7 month old twin girls, the other a gorgeous 7 month old baby boy.  All 4 are now in year 3.  And still excellent friends.

Soon enough we all discovered a liking for a drink on a Friday, and "Friday Drinks" was born.  Every 2 weeks we'd meet at one of our houses and share a glass of wine and some nibbles.  The other girls had older kids at school and preschool.  I managed to keep getting pregnant and only being able to have one drink for the first three years we met.

After a while we added kids dinner into the mix, allowing us to stay and drink longer. Husbands would come home and join in, forging their own friendships too.  Other families came and went (by invitation) but we remained tight.  Some would say, exclusive.

Having a support network so close by when I had no family around me meant the world and helped me through some seriously hairy moments.  I remember one day, bursting through the gate we'd made in the fence and running into Jane's arms when everything just got too much for me.  Issy would have been 3 months, Josh 2 and Sarah 4.  Sarah had just thrown the mother of all tantrums at the Mall and I'd barely managed to get everyone safely into the car and home I was crying so hard.

I really needed a hug, and I knew where I could get one.  Thank goodness for Jane.

We don't catch up as much anymore, the kids are older, the oldest in high school (this particular young man being the "saver of Issy" from a recent post), another in year 6.  They all still get along really well, and so do all of us.  I couldn't think of a nicer way to spend a public holiday Monday afternoon.  We drink some bubbles and beer, eat cheese and bickies and natter.

And it's a school night, and we know our limits.  Although it has not always been thus.

Thanks guys x