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Sunday, February 22, 2009

When New Friends Become Old Friends

We've been taking turns getting sick around here. The Cold Plague, as it seems. I am much better myself now, thank you very much for asking. But Olivia's ears started hurting yesterday, so naturally her little brother determined we should listen to her heart.We did take her to a real doctor today, and it turns out she has a double ear infection. Poor thing.

Before she started feeling so poorly -- or at least started complaining about it -- we had a wonderful time with some friends from Germany and their beautiful bilingual girls.We knew Stephanie and Doug while we were living in Italy and hadn't seen them in over two years -- they left Italy several months before we did. Doug has since retired from the Air Force and they now live near Trier, Germany, Stephanie being German herself. And we couldn't have been more pleased that they made it work to see us during their latest trip to the States.

The last time their Emma and our Olivia were together they were three years old, the best of friends.This month they each celebrated their sixth birthday, within one day of each other. And within minutes of their reunion they resumed their friendship as if the last two years had never existed.A couple of years ago, Maya and Sean-Peter were a couple of drooling mischief makers.
Now settled into each other with a friendship in its own right.
In a lifestyle such as ours, when regular moves make relationship building a rather tenuous endeavor, it's friendships like these that can stand the test of time. Which is why I am so grateful and glad they made the effort and took the time and energy to come our way. Only time will tell how our children will relate to each other as the years pass, but I really hope to continue to give them the opportunity to find out.

The second night they were here we had some other friends come by, another family we had also known at Aviano, who came for dinner and added two more girls to the mix, both around the same ages as the other four.The kids all played, really, exceptionally well all evening. With only one noticeable complaint from Sean-Peter early on, "But I don't want to be the monster!" Poor guy was dreadfully outnumbered.This is Autumn and Paul. A beautiful couple if there ever was one. They PCS'd to Wright-Patt from Italy a couple of months before we did. Before Italy we were both in Las Vegas at the same time, too. (Although we didn't know each other then.)

Do you notice a trend?

Like us, they came to Ohio with orders to stay at least four years. EXCEPT -- Paul tested for Chief and got it on the first try. That like, never happens. He's some kind of genius superhero or something. The catch, though, is that he had to find a new job: There are only so many positions available for Chiefs. Chances were slim that he would find one at Wright-Patt, so...

John and I were all like, "Get us somewhere good!"

Sure enough, they just found out they have to PCS this June -- to Hawaii. Gee, that's rough.

Except I actually wouldn't want to move to Hawaii. I've heard the schools aren't any good. Anyone want to share anything they know about that?Here we all are, Stephanie, Autumn and I. And I really do feel like I must explain. Because I am not that short, honestly. Yes, we are all standing. But it's just that they're so tall. Both Stephanie and Doug are over six feet. Seriously. I feel like a munchkin. Here they are, for instance, doing my dishes, of all things.Are these friends, or what? I didn't know whether to kiss them or take away their passports.

And they are the most beautiful couple as well, I just have to add. For some reason I never took a photo of them side-by-side. But isn't Stephanie just glowing? She should -- not only did they just come from vacationing in Florida, she's also baking a new little bun in the oven. A little, "Whoops, what a surprise! but isn't it wonderful?" addition to their family. I'm so happy for them.

This photo is completely gratuitous, but I just think Emma's outfit complete with stockings is too, too adorable. To me, this totally speaks German.And for your viewing pleasure, I give you about a minute of mindless chatter of five little girls -- and one little boy desperately trying to hold his own and make his voice heard.

And just for the record, Stephanie? If you guys found yourselves getting sick after you left here I am really, really sorry. I'm still so glad you came.


Mike and Erin said...

What a sweet boy. As a brother, he won't have to check Olivia for a heartache for a few years to come. Hope you guys feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Actually, my inlaws lived in Hawaii and the schools were horrible where they were. (Big Island) Maybe in Oahu they are better?

And how very fun for you to get to catch up with old friends!

Jerilyn said...

How fun! Wish I could have seen them all again. The video is hilarious. I'm so glad Stehpanie's were able to come by and so glad you had such a good time.