Friday, June 5, 2015

"The Best Day Ever"

Some things you don't realize how good you have it until it's gone, others you recognize their full greatness while they're still in your midst. The Best Day Ever!!! Definitely falls into the latter category. So, let me back up just a bit. What is the Best Day Ever? Well, when Lucy enrolled in public school she made friends with a sweet and quiet little girl. We'll call her "E". As I got to know her mom through a mutual friend, I quickly learned where E got her caring and friendly heart from. 

Throughout the school year the girls had a few play dates and some other fun outings. As first graders it was fun to watch their friendship grow. I had Wiley not quite 2 weeks before school got out for the year. We were in baby heaven! E's wonderful mom asked me what we were doing for the last day of school, my response was to spend the afternoon staring at said new baby (or something of that nature). She insisted on taking Lucy along on what she described as The Best Day Ever! It involved lunch out (a rare treat), parks, splash pads, ice cream and more! I of course agreed to let her take my child on this grand adventure and met them for ice cream when all of us at home had woken up from a nap. Lucy indeed had The Best Day Ever!

Last year, we all joined along with them. E and Lucy had been in separate second grade classes, but were still good friends. Murray and E's younger sister R had been in the same class and were also good friends. The youngest of their girls fell right in between Ginny and Wiley. We were quite the site! Applebees for lunch with 7 kids, the park, the splash pad, ice cream. Back to her house for pizza, popsicles and sparklers. It was The Best Day Ever!  That ended in tears as we said goodbye to these amazing friends. 

From the moment we drove away, Lucy and Murray asked, what will we do for The Best Day Ever next year? It won't be the same without them. I whole heartedly agreed...and my mommy heart started praying. Praying for fun friends to share new memories with and to keep in touch with these old ones. 

Well, yesterday was our first Oregon version of The Best Day Ever and it was a success. When you're competing with memories, you have to get creative; so we did. We had a picnic on school grounds with the girls in Lucy's class. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of the year and to say goodbye to one friend who won't be returning next year. We brought friends home with us and played for awhile before heading out to the pool. We had promised the bigs they could both have birthday parties this year; as the day approached I thought, why not have Murray's on the last day of school before everyone scatters for the summer. With all the swimming lessons we've taken this year I learned our local pool is actually an inexpensive option for an out of the house party. So, party we did! 

We invited Murray's class and siblings too, along with a few neighbors and friends. We swam for an hour and enjoyed ice cream sundaes topped with candy and sugar and lots of laughs from the boys. 

We had to take a "break" for Lucy to sing at the 8th grade graduation with her class, and Murray to have baseball practice. But we finished the night (really late) with a hunt for glow bracelets in the yard and everyone went to bed with a soft glow in their beds. 

What a great day with bittersweet memories. I love that we are making such great friends here. I love watching new friendships form and all the love and laughter being shared. But yesterday I did wish we could be sharing The Best Day Ever with our Michigan friends (although, they have another week of school, so I don't mind we didn't have to wait).

As we said so many goodbyes last year, I remember telling Lucy that we could be sad as we said goodbye, but that all the people we loved we were taking with us in our hearts. The things they taught us and the memories we shared would come with us to Oregon because they helped make us the people we are. Yesterday that came to a full fruition. 

Thank you Mandy for teaching E and R to love their friends, to welcome them to a strange new school. Thank you for seeing a mom with a new baby and inviting my girl into your family tradition. Thank you for sharing your joy with us. The Best Day Ever is now a cross country event and I hope one day we get to share it with you again (wouldn't that really be the best day ever?!?).