Something old, something new
One of Curious Girl's former teachers holds Fabulous Friday as a way to make a little extra money. For $20 or $25, she hosts a small group of kids at her house on a Friday night, from 5-9 or 6-10, feeds them dinner, has fun activities, and a movie. Her 11 year old daughter helps out, and the kids just love it. Curious Girl had the idea to have Fablious (as she calls it) Friday here, but we decided that Super Saturday would be better. So a week ago, we hosted our first Super Saturday. CG invited 5 friends, and had loads of fun getting things ready. Preparations involved random recollections of Fabulous Fridays past, the better to outline the very precise outline of the evening (parental preparations thus involved gentle encouragement about the need to invite friends and let them play). We decided on a craft (painting pumpkins), we decided on activities (playing in the park next door, having a scavenger hunt), we shopped for scavenger hunt prizes (criteria: cheap but not useless: I found some Halloween coloring books, headbands, and pencils at the dollar store).
The kids arrived and immediately started playing in our yard. A couple of parents hung out for a bit, and our neighbor brought over some slices of cake for dessert. CG wanted to serve sandwiches for dinner (PB &/or J, or grilled cheese; some kids opted for yogurt and sliced cheese instead). Politica and another parent took the kids to the park while I got the sandwiches and salad, and fruit prepped). The kids had fun decorating pumpkins with the paints and glitter and yarn. After dinner, we got out flashlights--CG insisted that the scavenger hunt have an outdoor, in the dark, component--and the scavenger hunt was a big hit.
Later that night, CG's former teacher called to see how the evening had gone. I loved having a group of kids over, without the added stresses of a birthday party. One friend asked Politica, "Does Curious Girl do this every Saturday?" and yesterday, after soccer, another guest was telling me his ideas for crafts for the next Super Saturday (not sure how well this would go over: the suggestion was to paint rotten baseballs!). CG was just bursting with pride about being a hostess ("I'll go out in the yard with First Arriving Guest, Mama, and then you can meet the other friends and send them back to me." Later on, she jumped up: "Mama, remember I said I'd help you serve water!")
We watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" after dinner (on blankets, with pillows and popcorn), and all in all it was a lovely night. I like being a family of three, but I love having the house full of kids. I am enjoying watching the friendships CG is forming now. But I missed her good friends from Old Hometown: I kept thinking how much fun it would be to have Historian Friend and Friend Who Needs a Pseudonym's kids over. I went to bed feeling both hopeful and nostalgic, thinking about old friends, seeing possibilities for new friends here.
And with a lovely abstractly painted pumpkin on the back porch table.
All hands on deck
I had the chance to meet up with Reverend Dr. Mom and BabyJ and her mother, which was super fun. You can see the hand photo we took on their blogs--proof that my girl is growing big! I can't believe how large her little hand is.
We had coffee and popcorn sitting at an outside cafe, and when a friend of Rev. Dr. Mom's walked by and said hello, we realized that the friend is also a friend of someone I know professionally. Small world. The friend asked us how we all happened to have met, and we all looked at each other, with a "ok, who's got a good story that doesn't involve spilling the beans about our pseudonymous blogs" sort of look. I said, "Oh, we have mutual friends," which is true. Curious Girl and Baby J got on famously--turns out Baby J loves to play peekaboo and clap, and Curious Girl was very encouraging of Baby J's clapping progress.
Moving is pretty disorienting, but a bloggy meet up was another reminder that this new place is a new source of friendships.
We're going to try hosting Super Saturday once a month. Next week, we're having dinner with a friend of Friend Who Needs a Psuedonym. Another friend has proposed that we trade babysitting monthly, so each set of parents can get a date every other month. We're creating new social routines here, and that feels good. The leaves may be falling off the trees, but I'm starting to feel a new beginning here. It's good.