It’s a known fact about my childhood that going to sleep in your own bed did not necessarily mean you were going to wake up there. My parents were big fans of spontaneity and surprises. As in, let’s put the kids in the car at 4 am and drive to so-and-so’s house to make breakfast. Or let’s go surprise so-and-so at the beach. Decide to head out on a camping trip at 8 in the evening? Just par for the course.
To this day, the idea of routines and schedules sort of chafe me. I recognize that part of being a responsible grown up means schedules, routines and commitments, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. Our family stays busy, but lately, I’ve come to the realization we are completely over scheduled. The last two weeks, there has not been one day without some sort of commitment – most days are going from one activity to the next. Last week in particular was a doozy.
Which is why this past weekend’s impromptu visit from the Smiley’s was so welcome. Through some sort of magic in the atmosphere, my little family found itself with absolutely no commitments for the first time in I don’t even know how long. Pat & Will had set up some time ago for Will to deliver some of the oysters he’s raised to people here who had preordered them this weekend¹. However, over the course of the week in which my dear husband was out flat with the flu (I have seriously, not in the nearly 20 years we’ve been together, ever, ever seen him that sick, ever.) and I had multiple PTO, work and other motherhood commitments, the actual plan for whether Will was just passing through or planning a visit never really got discussed until about noon Saturday, when Pat mentioned Will was waiting on Mollie to get ready. Still, there was no answer as to what the plan was – they frequently stop by on their way elsewhere – their first meeting Edie in the hospital when she was barely 24 hours old was one of their stop-ins. About 2 that afternoon, it dawned on me they might be spending the night, only Mollie & I had somehow left the communication of that up to our husbands. Sure we know better than that at this point, but we are also both quite busy and surely if they can plan a fishing trip, they can mention this sort of thing to each other and maybe even their wives, yes?
Thankfully, our families are well suited to visits together. And it turns out the remedy for feeling frazzled from being over scheduled is an impromptu visit with dear friends. The Saturday plan had been to chill, watch football and make a big pot of something. We just folded the Smileys into it – the boys watched football upstairs, Edie & Abigail did their thing while Mollie & I made dinner (turkey soup). Bonus, Sunday morning, Mollie made breakfast AND cleaned the kitchen. In fact, she may have left my disaster of a house cleaner than she found it, for which I have gratitude from the tips of my toes. Along the course of the weekend, we may have planned a New Year’s bash that could be a new tradition in the making, one of our many.
Friends that you can do nothing with, who feel free to pop in unexpected, are the best sorts of friends. Friends that leave your house cleaner than they found it while also feeling free to pop in unexpectedly with a cooler full of dinner fixings? I am blessed.
*Thanks to John Lennon for the quote. Bonus points to whomever can name the song the line comes from.
¹ – Due to the fact that Pat was ill all week, I had not ordered any oysters for us. Will brought over oysters he had raised for Christchurch School, with all proceeds benefiting the school’s program. There will be more oysters to be had New Years, so if you’d like some then and are in the Charlottesville area, let me know.