A day with old friends and family

Today we decided to go into the Pearl Street area of downtown Boulder to look for a spot to have breakfast. We wound up at a Crepe place. The babies slept all the way there, so we just parked the stroller next to our table. Emily woke up partway through the meal, at which point Ted shared his quiche with her. We ordered a PBJ crepe for Hazel. She took one bite and said she didn’t like it. I suspect that this was a function of it being new food; she often doesn’t like something the first time around. They very nicely scooped out the PBJ contents and applied them to a croissant, of which she approved, though the fruit cup was her favorite.

Toward the end of our meal my friend showed up, and we wandered down along Pearl Street with her and her boyfriend, checking out the various neat places designed for climbing and perching. We were also treated to the attentions of a guy standing in front of a sign exhorting us to repent, as well as the tunes produced by a kid playing violin, and a collection of guys singing and playing guitar. I suspect this is somewhat representative of the diversity of opinion in Boulder.

Then we drove over to pick up another of my college friends who lives in the area. I haven’t seen him in 14 years. Spending time with my three friends, I notice ways in which we all look different than we did the last time we were all together: we all have some grey (though I’m currently hiding mine, will stop at some point); our faces show lines and signs of life lived. The friend who was hosting brought out some pics, mostly from our college years. They show startling amounts of hair. We’ve all either shortened or removed our hair since we were in our twenties. Nonetheless, things which I’ve known and missed about each person are present, not unchanged, but familiar and part of the essence of how I’ve understood and experienced each of them. Smiles, certain expressions or turns of phrase, sense of humor, ways of processing or communicating. And in that context, the differences can be delightful and surprising. I would not have expected to be at a gathering of those friends that included children, and certainly not the children were mine. I would not have expected children to be an area in which I would experience overlap and bonding with my friend who has a daughter.

We spent some time hanging out by/in the pool while Ted was driving around with his brother running errands and putting the twins to sleep. That is to say, he (my friend) was by the pool, and Hazel and I were in it, and then in the two spas. I spun Hazel around in the water until I was dizzy (she could have kept going with that activity indefinitely); she jumped off the side and into my arms many times; she dipped her ears and blew bubbles (yay swim class!). He and I also managed to have some good conversation.

Then everybody else came back from their various errands, and an extended hanging out happened. Food, beer, conversations of various types (lots of techie people, lots of kid talk, some reminiscing) occurred. Hazel got a couple of the people there to pile all of the sofa cushions up against one wall. She played hide and seek with my friend who was hosting. I fed the babies various times. I love the freedom of being able to weave that into my social time, not feeling like I have to go off and hide in another room. I do have (and used today) a “hooter hider”, which is essentially an apron that allows me to cover up, and once I’m set up, I can nurse contented babies while still conversing and interacting with my friends.

When Ted’s brother had to leave to go back home, he gave one of my friends a ride home, and another of them and her partner left too. The rest of us went back to the pool (on the roof), where we bundled up the babies and enjoyed the spa, until Hazel convinced me to get back in the pool with her. That wasn’t actually too bad, so I didn’t have to shriek too much upon entering the water via cannonball.

My friend’s boyfriend has twins (grown-up). When we returned from our second pool trip, he brought pictures to show, from their babyhood, childhood, and present. It still amazes me that humans start as these tiny little creatures, and develop into people with a diversity of opinions, experience, desires, etc. I know this will happen with my three. It is impossible for me to imagine them any older than they are, however.

Now we’re back at the hotel. Everyone else is asleep, and I must sleep too. It is nice to be able to approach it with the thought and feeling of gratitude for all the wonderful people I’ve had in my life, the people I’ve loved and those who have loved me, and the ways in which that love is extending into the next generation, the love into which my children have been born.

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