Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Florida Vacation = Fun with Treasured Friends

We have been looking forward to this vacation for a long time! We planned 5 days at Disney and two weeks in Fort Myers. Wow! A 3-week vacation -- we've never taken that long of a vacation. But with the kids on summer break and 15 years worth of friends and family to visit in Fort Myers, we knew we would want that much time!

It started out with a BANG when one friend and her kiddos met us at Disney -- can you say FUN??? Then, a few days into our Disney trip, we met up with another family who happened to be there at the same time! We made memories for sure!

Once back in Fort Myers, we began calling friends and scheduling the fun. We still have almost a week to go here, but the kids are having a ball seeing all of their Florida friends again! (Not to mention their Grandparents!!!)

On one level, I feel complete joy during these play dates -- because we are able to be here, because the kids can go 6 months without seeing each other and still play like we never left, because our friends make time for us. Because our friends are just generally awesome!

But, I also feel pangs of sadness at times, because we miss our friends, and it's difficult to watch the kids have to say "good-bye" again. Of course, we try not to say "good-bye," and we talk about the next time we will all get together, but it's still emotional.

One of the most profound feelings I feel is of gratitude. That our friends will make time for us during our visit. That we have so much fun when we are together. That our friends will subject their children to having to say "good-bye" again. We are so lucky to have such great friends! My heart is FILLED with love.

We love you guys!!! See you all soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"You Guys Make Me Feel Like A Rock Star"

I have known since she was very young that my daughter, Alyssa, is here to teach me things -- many things. How to be a good friend is one of them.

This year has been one of extreme growth for Alyssa (and I) on the friendship front -- from leaving the comfort of her Florida friends to making new friends in Illinois to learning how to be a good friend.

Watching her this year has reminded me of the quote, "If you want to master it, teach it." Clearly, when I am teaching Alyssa, I am also supposed to be learning.

One recent story Alyssa shared with me was about how she was playing with two other neighborhood friends. They were getting along famously, and, apparently, being very nice to each other. Whatever they were doing caused one of the children to say, "You Guys Make Me Feel Like A Rock Star!"

Wow! What a great lesson. We should all aim to make our friends feel like Rock Stars! I seized the moment to talk to Alyssa about that. And I have since used it to guide her when she faces challenges with friends.

I'm so grateful Alyssa had that experience, because it showed her how good it feels to make someone else feel good. Now we have a very concrete example to go by. And, it gave me a great teaching tool and lesson for myself!

This blog post is written with love, gratitude and admiration for all of the rock stars in my life. xoxoxo