Today we went to a baby shower for good friends of ours. James knew a few other people there from his work but I met everyone else for the first time. Everyone there had young children. In fact, about half the guests were young children. There were at least 3 pregnant moms present and the children ranged from 5 months to about 11 years old. A friendly dog, a toddler swing, bubbles and chocolate cake later, and everyone had a really nice time. Good conversations, games, and a fired-up grill and it was a party in the best sense of the word.
On the way home, I reflected about how God put all of us on paths to the moments that were that lovely afternoon. One couple the honorees had known from college in Georgia. We were from the graduate school clan in Texas and D.C.. Others were fellow parishioners here in Maryland. I thought how wonderful it was that all of us, all of us in around the same seasons of our journeys sharing the afternoon in honor of our common friends.
There was one couple whom I met that I particularly liked and would have liked to see again. They are pregnant with their first but will be moving to Oregon the same week we are moving. And I realized that, while some of the families present were relatively settled, others of us are still nomads. We don't own a home but rent and do not have that permanence yet of knowing we intend to stay in one place for many years. Knowing this makes an afternoon like the one today even more of a miracle knowing how many of us are still unsettled.
And I felt sad knowing how often people move and how easily people can drift out of our lives. It makes it harder to build lasting friendships, especially when you are a mother to small children who can so easily demand so much of your attention and time.
But I remember how nice it was to chat with other young moms (I can still use the word "young" applied to me right?) and what a wonderful time Cecilia and Felicity, and even Elizabeth, had playing with all the other children, and I can be thankful for the gifts of these special moments and I can trust that, just as God brought us all together from our different paths to share this one afternoon, He likewise will intersect our path with other families to share our joys, our childrens' smiles, and a grill-marked hotdog.