On Sunday Anna went to New York City to meet up with some kids that are heading to Johns Hopkins in the Fall (they found each other on social media — kids these days…). She came home feeling like she had made some good connections. It warmed my heart thinking about her one day enjoying a reunion like Dan and I had this weekend.
Dan and I have a remarkable circle of friends from college (Goucher College and Johns Hopkins University), and we all make an effort to get together as often as possible. 50th birthday parties are the newest excuse to pretend that we’re still young and cool.
This weekend was another one of those parties and it was incredible. People came from all over the country to celebrate our dear friend Fuzzy (his parents insist his name is really Jeff, but I don’t believe them). It ended up being two days of constant festivities filled with live music, fattening food, wine, laughs and old friends from back in the day – before mortgages and diapers and other grown-up responsibilities.
On Saturday afternoon, Jack joined us around the fire pit. We were all exchanging stories and drinking more wine than 50 year-olds should (FYI – I’m 48, but who’s counting). I looked over at Jack as he sat listening to all the inappropriate stories with a smile on his face. He loves being around the energy of these events. I felt so lucky to share Jack with our friends and to share our friends with our boy.
But, today I keep thinking about him sitting there.
I keep thinking about how middle-aged Anna will sit around a fire pit with old friends laughing about college shenanigans (and fascinating lectures – right, Anna?). Then, I think about Jack.
Jack’s life is wonderful and—trust me—he has plenty of friends. I walk into Horizon High School on any given day to find my son surrounded by people. It’s as if he is holding court, telling jokes — not bad for a boy who hasn’t spoken in ten years. His life is filled with people who love him and will be in his life forever, but it’s different. He won’t ever have a circle of friends from college who knew him when he was just starting his adult life. That’s where Jack should be now, but ALD stole college from him along with his speech. I wish so badly that he could be busy making his own ridiculous college memories, not sitting with his folks and their old friends talking about theirs.
I know it’s not terrible – just different. Sometimes different just hits me wrong and this is what I do. I share. Sharing helps me make sense of things so I can let them go.
I know I am still a little exhausted from a VERY long weekend and I’m already starting to freak out about Anna leaving the nest, but sometimes I really hate ALD. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll be fine. Jack will give me one of his magic hugs and I’ll go back to just reliving the fun memories of the weekend and counting Weight Watchers points.