We were so blessed tonight to witness the wedding of one of Strength Coach Son's closest friends from his high school swim team to her forever after love.
SCS has been out of high school for 12 years now and keeping in contact with these long ago friends has been difficult but this young lady has always been special to us. While high school students, this group of friends lead by A would regularly check the weekly menus posted on our refrigerator and tell me when to expect them for dinner. And it was not unusual to get a phone call from SCS to see if dinner could stretch for just one or two more guests..."We can stop at the store and pick up more lettuce or dessert, Mom. A & M want to come to dinner." When SCS went off to LSU for college these kiddos knew how much we missed him and would call to schedule dinner at our house so that we could catch up and so that the house would not seem so empty. When they went to visit SCS for the weekend, they would be certain to let me know ahead of time so that they could stop and pick up the cookie delivery for the guys at school and even promised that most of the treats would actually arrive at their destination.
When SCS graduated and started his engineering career in Houston, we had an annual reunion at our house on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. He would cook gumbo and a cornhole/bags tournament would be held in the back yard. Everyone knew the schedule and no one waited for an invitation...they just showed up...hungry and happy to see each other. It wasn't a successful evening until someone lit the fire in chiminea and the grown-ups worried about catching the fence on fire.
Today I listen to my younger friends with teen-age children stressing over dating issues and grade point averages and class rankings and college acceptances and homecoming woes and I just want to tell them to STOP! Enjoy every one of these minutes and dramas and hold them tight. They will be gone in just a few years...minutes really,,, and you will miss this time so much. If I could turn back the clock and relive our sons' high school years, I would do it in a minute. Would I change anything? Maybe...I might hope the ATS (Athletic Trainer Son) would make a few more friends in high school and hold onto the ones from middle school....I might hope that SCS was able to achieve the goals that he set for himself in swimming...I could skip the sleepless night waiting to see who made it home in time for curfew...I would definitely send someone shoe shopping on his own and I might be a little less strict in some areas. Did I do some things wrong...of course. But did our sons turn out to be responsible young men and deserving of our pride and respect...YES. I like to think that we had some thing to do with that but even if we didn't, I'm glad that they turned out to be the adults that they are.
And I am so glad that their friends think enough of us to invite us to their momentous occasions and that they remember us as fondly as we remember them. So, my friends with young and adolescent children, enjoy this time and encourage your children to keep in touch with the parents of the friends that they cherish so much. Those parents love them, too, and want to know what happens to them. It does take a village....or a group of swim parents...to raise a child.