Project Optimism: The Gathering

I have some sort of psychotic need to continue my Project Optimism posts. Maybe it’s because it gets to me to write. Maybe it’s because it makes me smile every Monday. Maybe it’s because it gets me thinking. Whatever the reason, I will continue. 

This week is a little bittersweet. Yesterday we went to a party at Chelsea Piers. It was a going-away party for some dear friends who are making the big move away from the NYC metro area. We hadn’t seen them in a long time. Much too long. In the time since we last saw them, they had a son, we had a son, they moved twice, we moved once, our children grew. 

It was so wonderful to meet up with not only them, but so many old friends. These were friends we spent late nights with in our early twenties, when the city was a place of bars and clubs and stumbling out of a cab at 5am to buy Poptarts at the deli. These are friends who let us crash at their places for undetermined amounts of time when we had no electricity because of the blackout, or just because we were too tired to go home yet. 

Now we are older, grayer, maybe more responsible, many out in the burbs, and almost all of us have children. Yesterday, they all played together in the sun as we looked out over the Hudson river. They shared trains and snacks and played pinball. We had beers like the old days, but it was distinctly not like the old days. Instead of loud music and the smell of cigarette smoke, we were surrounded by conversation and our children’s laughter. It was divine in so many ways.

The bittersweet part is that we didn’t do this until it was all ending. They are taking off to another state far away just next week and yet we didn’t get together when they were just across the river. Thank goodness for Facebook and Instagram so we can see each others’ kids and watch them grow. I suppose it often proves true, you just don’t know what you got till it’s gone. 

I’ll take this lesson and spend more time with the friends who are here, take the time to visit the friends who aren’t, and stop using the excuse of “well, we have kids now.” Because honestly, shouldn’t that be the reason instead?

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I didn’t manage to get any pictures without our friends’ kids’ faces in them, so you’ll have to settle for Declan by the water. 

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