The Friends They Make Under my Roof

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This picture collage popped up in Facebook this morning. Last night, Katie and Karoline and I cut lace for hours in order to make new tutus for Nutcracker at our new(ish) dance school. Tchaikovsky is offering soft mood music as I write. It’s Nutcracker season and I kind of love it.

This collection of photos actually brought me back further than the pictured Nutcracker four years ago—the one when Mary Beth was Sugar Plum Fairy and Patrick came home from college and surprised her. Paddy was living in the shadow of horror that was Charlottesville that four years ago. We were happy to be together and to sink into the sweetness that was Nutcracker.

But the collage got me thinking. Last night, there were only four children in my house. The last four. And the dynamics of relationships among all my kids have changed remarkably in the last ten years. It started when Michael left for college, and accelerated when Paddy left for the National Team. I wonder what me-today would tell me-ten-years-ago.

I think back to the friends they were when they were little-- before Paddy left for Florida, back when every day ended with heart-to-heart conversations between Paddy and Mary Beth, back when she was who he’d miss the most-- and I thank God for every moment they spent with one another before their worlds shifted. No matter what happens and where they go, those two good people shaped one another into the best versions of themselves. So much of who they are today grew out of a beautiful friendship they had from the moment she was born.

I would tell ten-years-ago-me to buckle up because there’s turbulence ahead. I would tell her …

honestly, I have no idea what I would tell her:-). I think I’d just encourage her to be grateful for the friendships her children forged with their siblings, to remind her children to be grateful for each other, and to pray that God would protect and strengthen those bonds.

 Katie making a little magic.

Katie making a little magic.

And I would tell the me of today that Nutcracker is always magical. Notice the magical moments.