A little over a week ago, I had a date. We decided to go out for Italian and chose Marino’s in Schenectady, New York. We communicated on the particulars of the date via text, and he came to pick me up that evening.
Nothing feels as good as a date night.
Forgive my tongue-in-cheek opening paragraph. My date was with two fine young men. Justin and Thomas are two of Jack’s best friends. My children have been blessed with a tight friend group who have gotten them through these past two years of life and milestones without Chip. I, too, am now the beneficiary of this circle of friends.
When they suggested that we have dinner together, I was touched by the simple gesture. I do not think they knew how much it would mean to me. I called Jack to tell him and share my excitement. Jack said they called him, wondering if it would be okay and if I would be willing to go. Again, how thoughtful and kind.
Soon, the day arrived. I was thrilled to be picked up at my door and treated to dinner. The conversation was fun, and we laughed a lot. I listened to them, now in their early 20s, settling into careers, living in apartments, and experiencing grown-up life.
I was in awe as they tackled a plate of chicken parmesan and pasta without hesitation. It reminded me of the endless pizza and wings deliveries and a refrigerator filled with sodas, water, and ice cream novelties. I knew all their favorites. The time passed too quickly, and a cold beer and linguine with white clam sauce hit the spot. (Full disclosure- I took it home and had it for two more dinners!)
As I sat there with these two young men, I remembered them as boys and all the weekends that they slept in our basement, the carpooling, and yes, a few beer cans hidden in the basement bathroom. I had all I could do to hold it together and not cry. I missed Jack so much; being with Justin and Thomas made it feel like Jack was there. I listened to them talk about Jack and how much they love and miss him. I hope they get to Germany to visit him and see how he has built a life there.
My heartfelt thank you to their families.
You have raised two outstanding young men. As parents, we are busy ensuring we provide sound and stable homes. Somewhere along the way, our children grow; yes, they learn from example. These families have led by example and created and nurtured two fine young men. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Being a mom is one of the greatest joys of my life.
Chip and I tried for a long time to get pregnant, and after years of fertility treatment, we had these two crazy kids… with them came a host of friends and their families who were such a gift… and still are. How lucky am I? Justin and Thomas, thank you again for a beautiful evening and for the best date I have had in a long time. One day, some lucky ladies will meet you, fall in love, and spend their lives with you. You may become parents; from where I sit, those children will be lucky to have you.
PS The picture below was from Jack’s going away party for his move to Berlin, Germany. Once again, how blessed am I to be included in his amazing circle of friends?