Monday, September 07, 2009

Old Friends And New Ones At The End Of Summer

Just returning from a wonderful afternoon spent at Dolores Park watching the fantastic SF Mime Troupe, a real Bay Area treasure. The musical this year, "Too Big To Fail." Not their best, but still spot on political satire.

Even better, though, we spent the afternoon with Doug and Karen, two new friends we've met through Liam's elementary school. It's taken awhile for us to really gel with anyone there. I think it's natural. But I was definitely overwhelmed last year with all the new faces. We had the 20 new families from his kindergarten room. And then there were the 25 new families at Kalian's new pre-school (her third school in three years, poor thing). I barely felt I had time for all the people in our lives already. And now we had another 45 families with which to mingle.

Back when we lived in Cambridge, it took almost the whole year before I felt like we were just become a part of some people's lives when we left. It's not easy, given that everyone comes to the table with their own friends, their own complicated lives.

For the past year, that's meant a lot of work arranging play-dates for Liam, who demands them constantly. As most parents know, this can feel like a full-time job, adding another layer of scheduling.

As such, we tend to be the ultimate last-minute people. This weekend, that paid off. We had old friends Lori and Ori, and daughters Hannah and Ruby, over for a BBQ on Saturday, responding to an email I sent out Friday night. We met through our midwife, initially worried that Hannah and Liam would be born too close together for us both to use her. Hannah and Liam went to pre-school together. And when we returned form Cambridge, we very nearly decided to move into their house (a duplex) and do the group house thing. Our blooming fruit trees in the back yard convinced us to stay put. (Though as a side note, had we sold our house, we would hit the very top of the housing market back in 2007. Ah, well).

Still, Lori and Ori are the kind of folks we worry about loosing touch with as the kids move to different schools. And so far, to our relief, it hasn't happened.

And on Sunday, also in a last minute invite, Karen and Doug met us at Dolores Park and then we grabbed burritos before riding Bart back together. Oddly, Liam's classmates Vera pals around with Kalian, while her younger brother Roy buddies up with Liam. I guess gender trumps age. But when our two have playmates, it makes all the difference. One hates to be mercenary, but there it is.

It was a great ending to summer. And I'm again promising myself that this Fall, I'll become a better planner.

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