This past weekend, I dusted off my nanny hat and watched two of my little guys on Friday night.
As their mom was getting ready for her evening, we chatted away about life. Life as women. The struggles we face, the obstacles we overcome, and our stages of life – careers, children, etc.
It was a typical conversation for us. Our routine since I was a Sophomore in college. Something I always enjoyed in my early twenties, but appreciate more in my late twenties.
Our conversation was real. Revealing our true selves.
We encouraged one another. She told me, as she’s done before, that everything happens for a reason. A reminder I never outgrow.
Once mom and dad were out the door, I played with the boys. Boys I’ve watched grow into little men with their own thoughts and ideas.
The evening included pizza, Lego creations (Chima is the new Ninjago), baseball shopping (oh yes, the oldest was on MLB.com), and Nerf gun wars. And the use of potty words that evoke much laughter (I made the mistake of reading a page from an NFL book on the Chicago Bears…Dick Butkus…sounds like “Buttkiss!”).
Basically, for me, it was a perfect Friday night.
On Saturday, I slept in. To an embarrassingly late hour in the day. I checked my phone and saw I had a text from my cousin.
She was in town with her family for a hockey tournament and wanted to invite me to the games.
I rushed to get ready and raced to the rink. One I’d actually never been to but found without a hitch.
She was there with her three kids – one on the ice – the other two just hanging out. Her husband was on the bench, coaching the little Squirts on their defensive skills.
It was a comfortable place to be – at a rink, watching hockey, talking to family.
I noted the size change since last year’s Mites team and the development of my cousin’s kid. His speed, agility, strength, and overall hockey sense.
His team was great and seemed to be having a fun time.
My cousin and I talked and filled each other in on family news. I laughed with my cousin’s daughter and discussed hair, Vera Bradley bags, and clothes. Because you can’t NOT talk about that stuff.
After the game, I greeted the mighty Mite and my cousin’s husband. We hung out for a bit before deciding on a place to grab lunch. Two kids piled into my car with me and we hit the road for some much-needed lunch.
At lunch, amidst hockey players and parents, my cousin and I chose a table – just the two of us. As with so many conversations this week, we discussed the situation in Boston and how that impacted her kids. But before that, we talked about life.
Careers. Church groups. Children.
The conversation was encouraging and real.
I think that’s the theme of my past year. Being real in conversations and not holding back. Because I’ve been there, done that. And it was exhausting.
So, for the second day in a row, I was honest on my feelings regarding careers, church groups, dating, and even children.
Because my cousin, like so many other women in my life, care. They want to hear my words and share their wisdom. And I want to hear their wisdom.
After our burgers and fries, we gathered the kids and did a quick shopping trip.
Then I tagged along to the second hockey game of the day. I drove my cousin’s daughter and we talked some more. Before the second game we continued to talk about girl things.
Because if I’m enjoying conversations with my cousins and nanny moms – then I can only hope that my cousin’s daughter is enjoying conversations with me.