Some of my dearest friends are moving away this summer and it’s just starting to sink in. We celebrated my dear friend Kim’s birthday this weekend on the beach. It was all foggy and San Francisco-like and we had a huge, beautiful black sand beach all to ourselves. It was dreamy really. We had a picnic and ate brownies and cookies and played Smashball and chased Liam around. It felt like summer, even though we were bundled up in the fog.
At the end of the day, when we packed up our cars to go, Liam was all furrowed up in his carseat, eyebrows scrunched with a single tear welling in his right eye.
“Where Sasha going?” he asked.
“She has to go home and rest,” I said gently.
“Where Camie going?”
“Where Matt going?”
And then he asked if I wanted to come over to his house.
I think that was the moment when it started to sink in for me. My friends are moving. This family that means so much to me will be far away. I suddenly felt 10 years old watching my friend’s family car drive off in the distance. You know the kind where you wave and wave and wave until they disappear? You wonder if you will ever see them again.
And of course I will see them again, and Kim and I will chat on the phone each week and there will be visits and trips and all sorts of wonderful things. But it will be different. And I worry sometimes that Liam won’t remember me.
Liam is the first kid I have ever spent a lot of time with. He is the first baby I met on the day he was born, the first diaper I ever changed (in tandem with another friend who also had never changed a diaper. Hilarious.) and the first little person I ever babysat. I adore him and I melt when Kim tells me that he calls me from his calculator at home. “Dee-Andrea? You want to come over?”
My adult mind wants to cling and hold to the way things are. But in a way, there is something so poetic about this, how kids are so present, so totally in the moment, that it’s always about now. That when I visit Kim, Liam and their family, we will create something new each time.