Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Knew It When...

Almost a year ago, we were new to Pittsburgh, had a two year old and a 6 month old, were trying to figure out where to grocery shop and a little too desperate to make friends. We were invited to a dinner party in the backyard of a family who lived down the street and we nervously showed up with a salad offering in hand, trying not to look too eager.

As it usually happens, the other guests were polite and interested and we made our rounds introducing ourselves as the New Kids on the Block. The babes settled in with balls and other toys, including a water table that Knox discovered he could pull himself up on and splash for a second before falling back on his big cloth diapered bottom. Grant and I were standing off to the side watching the kids play, when a little guy around Pursy's age gave Knox a pretty good splash of water to his face parts. Knox fell backwards and sputtered, totally surprised at the water bath that he didn't cause.

About 10 seconds later a tall, pretty, dark curly haired broad strolled over and surveyed the situation. She looked over at the group of us standing there and asked "Whose kid is the little guy my son just splashed in the face?" Grant and I probably nervously responded thinking that we were being exposed for a complete parenting fail because neither of us had gone over to Knox, who at this point was already pulling himself back up and going back for more water play. She watched for another few seconds then said "Would you like me to do something about that or leave it alone?". Surprised, Grant and I agreed that both boys seemed to be just fine and there was no point in creating a problem that wasn't there. The pretty Mama took a sip of her beer and nodded. Then she looked at me and said:

"I'm Allie".

She is going to be terribly embarrassed that this post is devoted to her, but I love using this blog to introduce beautiful things to the world, and she is definitely a beautiful thing. Allie is a wife to Phil, mama to Ian and in utero baby boy, professional at the Buhl Foundation, camper/hiker, foodie who appreciates a good guacamole hot dog, Anglican, and a fabulous person to watch the Oscars with.

Finding a friend who makes parenting an easier job is invaluable, particularly in these early years when none of us know what we are doing. Being able to talk to another Mama whose end goal is to raise children who love God and love the world around them helps me put things in perspective, especially on the days when Pursy and Knox seem like tiny carnies placed in my life to bring chaos and bizarre entertainment. A perfectly fine day can spiral into disaster if I am focusing on one small thing and losing my mind because of it. Allie parents Ian with the worldview that emotions are what they are (from Mama and child), there is nothing a good run around the backyard can't fix, and apologizing to your kid when you screw up is more important than anything. She is simple and direct, two qualities I admire deeply in other parents.

Allie is truly one of the loveliest people I have come across. One of my favorite qualities, probably selfishly because it's about me, but she and I can rival each other for noise and laughter. She doesn't make me feel loud and obnoxious because she is eating up life with as much excitement and humor as I do. Allie, I love ya. And I knew it the day your son water boarded my son.

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