Friday, June 06, 2014

Goodbye to friends (and fevers)

For the past school year there's been a yellow paper stuck to Rachel and Miriam's door that says:
They put it up the day they founded their preschool for underprivileged children (Miriam and Benjamin, who are deemed unfortunate because they are not enrolled in an actual preschool or even a co-op for that matter, while Eliza's little brother was).

This was their go-to game when they'd get together to play (which admittedly wasn't as often as they'd have liked).

Rachel didn't go to school on Thursday (because no one woke up until around...noon) but she was feeling well enough to set up the schoolroom to do her part to further Miriam's education.

That's what a dose of antibiotics will do for you:

I swear antibiotics are magical. This girl must have had some sort of infection or another because even with just a few doses under her belt she's phenomenally better (like, eating food, walking around, going to school better).

While she was happy to be feeling better, she was terribly upset about the poor timing of this illness (is there ever a good time to get sick?). Her dear friend Eliza is moving far, far away. Last week Eliza wasn't at church but, we reasoned, we had a few more weeks of school and one more week of church so we could still get them together!

But then Rachel got sick and missed church on Sunday (which was Eliza's last week) and I thought it was just a simple stomach bug so I set up a playdate with Eliza's mom for Wednesday this week (because surely Rachel would be better by then—haha). We missed that playdate, obviously, but Thursday evening we ran over to Eliza's house so the girls could get in a formal goodbye. Having moved a lot as a child...and an adult...I've come to understand that formal goodbyes are important.

I don't know why. But they are.

It's important to give that last hug. It's important to say, "Goodbye, good luck, I'll miss you." It's important to finish that chapter.

And sure, we have email and facebook and all those other wonderful tools for staying in touch, but there's just something about physical distance that needs to be addressed.

I think, sometimes, that's why death is more difficult when it's unexpected than when it's a long and drawn out process. It's getting to say goodbye vs. not.

Anyway, moving isn't exactly like death. But it's still hard.

The girls had a fun time running around catching fireflies. Eliza's older brother, who was hanging around with the chatting adults, cradled a firefly in his hand and wistfully murmured, "I just caught my first firefly of the season. And probably my last."

Their family is headed back over the Mason-Dixon line into the land of snow and ice.

When it was time to say goodbye we took a few "formal" pictures of the kids. From this little photo shoot I've determined that my children have no idea how to smile. I will blame that one on genetics, specifically Andrew's because "Is this a smile?"

Look at Eliza smiling all cute, making eye-contact with the camera. My kids just can't do that. They cannot. Can. Not. They just can't even.

So, Rachel's a little broken-hearted at the moment, but at least the rest of her body is getting better!

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