Last fall I ran into an old friend of mine. Justine and I were friends from 4th-7th grade in northern Michigan. We lived in different towns, but were in the same small branch of the Church. Her family moved to southern Michigan and mine moved a year later to Arizona. We saw each other a couple of times while we both attended BYU, but lost contact after that. Last fall she happened to be standing in front of me in line at Parent/Teacher conferences at the middle school. We have sons the same age and in several of the same classes. I had no idea she lived in the same state, much less the same school boundaries.
We've gotten our families together twice, now. The second time being last night. My parents are visiting us, her parents live in UT, and we all got together to have dinner and catch up. It was lots of fun. It wasn't until this morning, though, that I realized she'd worked a couple of miracles last night.
The first involved Joseph. For most of Joseph's life, he has been a bit of a social enigma to me. He hated play groups and going to the park. He never wanted to go visit anyone. He was just happy to be at home doing his thing and he could make life kind of miserable for the rest of us when we did go out. I worried that he'd never have friends. To my surprise, he's been a very social and out going kid. He has lots of friends and has a couple he spends as much time with as he can. He still hates to go places and visit people, though. He'll tolerate the drive over, about 5 minutes there and then he's ready to leave. Often he's not very discreet about it , either. It's lots of fun for the rest of us.
This morning I realized that not once last night did he say anything about wanting to go home. In fact, he didn't even come upstairs from playing except to grab another cookie. I can't remember the last time that happened. He is friends with Justine's oldest son at school. I hope they hang out more often. I might actually get a chance to visit with one of my friends occasionally.
The second miracle involved me. My friend is involved with a small magazine called Segullah. It publishes essays, poems, and artwork by LDS women about twice a year. I'd never heard of it before, but I read through some of the articles this morning and enjoyed myself. I have no grand aspirations when it comes to writing, but our conversation last night reminded me that I hadn't written anything besides a family newsletter in months. I realized I missed it. That's saying something because I hated writing in high school. Somewhere along the way I've picked up the idea that writing can be fun and my brain was missing it. I've sat down to post something to the blog several times in the last couple of months, but nothing came to mind that seemed worth writing about. I blamed it on being busy or tired. This morning my head was flooded with ideas and I'm still busy and tired. Maybe it was some sort of writer's block. Maybe I was just too tired and busy from all the holiday stuff going on. Either way, it was gone this morning. Too bad I didn't sit down and write while all the ideas were flooding, because you might have something a little more interesting to read at this point. At least the ideas made an appearance. That felt nice. Maybe they'll trickle back in and I'll put them into words here. That would feel nice, too.
So thanks, Justine, for dinner, conversation, fun, and reopening a door I hadn't noticed swinging shut. I needed all four.