Parenthood is an absolute joy. There is nothing like the unconditional love that your children display to you. However, Mommy and Daddy need some adult time too.
Vanessa and I were sitting down together one night a couple of months ago when we realized that something was missing. I love my work and the community I’m involved with online. Vanessa was happy with the work she was doing outside of the home. The kids were happy and, relatively, everything was going fine there.
But something was still missing.
Then, we realized it. Our friends. Our personal community. Between three kids and our employment changes over the summer, we simply hadn’t made the time to spend with our friends. With the exception our coworkers in the context of work, our in-laws, and our three children under four years old, we had no human interaction.
All of our friends are busy. One just graduated with a Master’s degree last weekend (while his wife is finishing her first semester in separate Master’s degree program and celebrated their one year old’s birthday), another just had their second kiddo, another couple are both transitioning new jobs, etc. We all had completely valid reasons to not have time to get together. Nevertheless, spending time together in community, while being able to discuss things and simply be together without trying to wrangle kids, is important, too, and something we had neglected.
Today, we spent a few hours at the Pleasant Hill Winery in Brenham, TX. The winery had generously donated a tour and tasting package to a non-profit that we purchased during a recent gala and was the perfect “excuse” for us and a bunch of our friends-with-kids to find babysitters and drive 90 minutes out of town.
Between drinking a good amount of wine and learning a great deal about winemaking and the commercial winery business, we all sat around a table, sharing a potluck dinner, and simply talking. Some about kids, but mostly about other things. Love stories from our parent’s or grandparent’s generation (where the written letter, weeks in transit was the only mode of communication), gross only-a-parent-could-understand stories about our kids or events we witnessed, and other randomness.
The time together, on one hand, wasn’t special or remarkable in any way, except that we hadn’t taken the time in far too long to spend time together and break bread.
It is easy for me to completely sink myself into work and the ordinary parts of life at home. Heck, I often don’t leave the house at all during the week—the downside of working from home. Friendships, though, deserve to have time made for them. You never know when a close friend will need to move across the country and all of those missed opportunities to get together that were passed up are suddenly regretted as months will pass before the next opportunity will present itself.
Life is lived in the quiet moments. Moments that often seem unremarkable are the times that life is lived, which is forgotten until the opportunity is gone. A couple of years ago, a close friend passed away. The mantra he shared with me was to not let those unremarkable moments pass without finding something remarkable in them.
We all have excuses. We are all too busy. There will always be tomorrow or next weekend. We shouldn’t let that stop us from living today in community with those whom we cherish.