Sunday, August 30, 2009

Finally... We Get Together As Families!!!!!!! The Slavins Visit!

This photo has been a long time coming. Jen, my college roommate, pictured in real life with my two boys. I can't even express what it all means to me (although, I can say this: I know Jen will be so dismayed that I posted this terrible photo of her on this blog -- in real life she is GORGEOUS and this photo is bad). But, I don't even care. Because, seriously, this photo, to me, is priceless. And, to top it off (total coincidence), that quilt that they have on them (watching Finding Nemo Saturday night, by the way)... that quilt was on our dorm-room couch the whole time we were roommates. We had countless -- countless -- heart-to-heart coming-of-age soul-searching future-planning past-processing present-analyzing life-affirming growing-up-together conversations (not to speak of hang-over-nap-sessions) together under that quilt. And there they are-- my boys and my Jen -- under that quilt. It has been a long time coming.

We graduated from Colby 15 years ago (15 years ago??????), and both lived in Boston (so saw each other tons) during our early 20s. Then she went off to Stanford for grad school, and stayed, and it became tough (obviously, with us on two different sides of the country) to get together. Although we were still able to manage (she and her husband Anthony - who Braydon and I adore - would come East, or we'd go West, or I'd have a conference in San Fran, or she'd have to be in New England, or there would be a major life event -- like our weddings -- etc. And... then there was that time we four all met up in New Orleans for a crazy weekend together). And so it went, until we had kids. And then it all came to a screeching halt. And we've been lamenting it ever since. But -- hallelujah! -- Anthony got a huge-promotion-of-a-new-job and this summer they moved back East! And now they are a mere 3 hour drive away (which is NOTHING!) and this weekend we had our first of many get togethers. No, it is nothing like the old days (to state the obvious: there are five kids in the picture now)... but, it is like the best of friends should be: pure bliss. The past pulls us together, and the future is sprawled out ahead of us. I have a feeling we'll be strong family friends for the long haul. The kind of family friends where our kids will grow up together. Which is, for me, a dream come true. And the five of 'em hit it off like we could only have wished for!

These three (photo below -- and click on any photo to enlarge) were like three peas in a pod. We barely saw them (except for mealtimes) the entire weekend. Seriously. We've already got stories to tell of their escapades -- stories that will embarrass them flushed red when they are sixteen. We cannot wait to tell the tales!
And these two... oh, these two... The Little Ladies (I'm now calling them)... they were born six weeks apart and they are soul sisters already. We decided, officially, this weekend: they will be college roommates. The only question remaining is, 'which college?' That is up for grabs, but we have a short list of some top notch schools that we'll be considering in 17 short years. The only thing for certain is that they'll do at least one semester of study abroad in Australia (Anthony, Jen's husband, is Australian so they have family there to keep a close eye on The Little Ladies while they enjoy university Down Under). As you can see, they've already mastered the fine art of drinking together. So, they should be all set.
Saturday morning the dads and the "big kids" took a trip to Ringing Rocks while the babies napped and the moms talked non-stop.

While they weren't napping, The Little Ladies were lovin' life and just, basically, starting the bonding of their pre-college-roommate years. Doing stuff like generally hanging out, working on their skills in the fine arts, chillin' at the pool, and working out together (this time around, the athletic endeavor of choice: horseback riding). You know, the same sorts of things they'll do when they live together in college someday.

Meanwhile, the Happy Threesome were playing inside and out, watching videos, holding hands, and just generally acting as though they have been best friends their whole lives.

The highlight was a brief period of sun on Saturday afternoon, which we maximized poolside, with Braydon's margaritas and chips and dips. The Little Ladies went a bit nutso with the bean dip.
CHEERS to many more Slavin~J-M weekends!
Jen is a long-time blog reader and it has always been from afar, so this will be her first time reading a blog post here with her in it! That will be surreal, I'm sure. But it is, surely, the first of many. I love you Jen! :) xxoo


Jen Slavin said...

aaawww....our Blog Debut!

I'm still smiling from such a great weekend!! Thank you!!

I love the photos (well, most of them! :-) and that first one is beautiful in meaning!). I love that in the one of the 5 kids by the pool Audrey is reaching up and holding Owen's hand!

Can't wait for our next S-J-M weekend!
xoxo Jen

laurafingerson said...

Oh I SO know what you mean about missing old friends and then being lucky enough to have them move nearby! It is the BEST!!!!! It is great that we have national (international!) career and education opportunities, but I really miss our friends.

Also, I really appreciated reading Braydon's points about the importance of your working, and your points, Heather, about the importance of your working. You GO! And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Mary McG in TN said...

Best friends are forever!! My best friend of 49 years lives 13 hours away ... but that did not put a damper on our friendship. We used to get together with our children. Now she brings a few of her MANY grandchildren here on vacation. They all call me Crazy Mary (in a loving way). May you have the same ability to share your friendship with grandchildren. It is the best!

Roxann said...

awfully cute. precious.