Today we went, for the last time, to the zoo with our 'zoo buddies'. This little girl and her mama have become an integral part of the enjoyment both J and I have in going to the zoo. We rarely go without them and when we do, J invariably asks for his friend and I miss having the Mama to talk to.
I met this Mama, through Craigslist of all things, when she came to pick up a toy I was selling. She's about my age, her daughter about J's age. We hit it off immediately and arranged a play date for our kiddos. And us. I'd say 70% of all these toddler play dates are really for the moms. At least J's are. :)
The play date turned into another, and another and before I knew it pretty much every Wednesday was dedicated to meeting up with them either at the zoo or a park. Mama and I would talk while the kids grew into playing with each other. She was the first little friend that J said "she's my best friend". He holds her hand. He knows her mom's name. He looks at the calendar and wonders where her name is on it. He asks about her and what's she doing. Is she napping? Eating breakfast? What's she doing right now?
Today I told him for the first time that they were moving. That to go see them, we would have to get on a plane like going to visit Grandmother and Pop Pops. He said he wanted to go and then asked when. Then he said he wanted to go all by himself.
Mama and I have encouraged each other, consoled each other, held each other up and been resources for each other. She's kept me sane at times. I'm losing the physical presence of a good friend. A really good friend. Thank goodness for email but it's not the same as knowing I'll see her this week, or next.
I know this move is a good thing for them. They're going to thrive in their new town. They have wonderful new adventures ahead of them, but still...we are going to miss them most terribly. I think my heart might break a little every time J asks for her when we go to the zoo or the park and I have to say "no baby, remember, they moved". And then he will eventually stop asking and that will hurt just as much.