Every year for our birthday there is a party. Technically it is Santino's birthday party, but since a bunch of our birthdays all fall in September it has gotten named the September party and we all crash it and celebrate at once.
Last night (well the whole weekend really) is the September party. Me, Jus and Ash and this year Jamie, loaded up my grocery-go-getter and headed over to the barn for our "life" reunion. Better than any family reunion, better than any class reunion, the September party over the years has evolved into a reunion of all the people who matter because you chose to make them matter.
Class reunions are reunions of people you went to school with because you had to. Family reunions are people you were born into. The September party was a bunch of us who became friends, for some reason or another over the years (I got in by default at age 17 and then got custody of Santino through the divorce, or so I like to joke) and have stayed friends through thick and thin. When we were younger it was a drunken mess of us all slogging around. As we have aged, it has evolved into a tri-generational party. There is the parent generation, the our generation and then the herd of kids. It boggles my mind sometimes that the kids are now getting to be the age that some of us became friends.
For instance one of the kids used to come strolling over to my apartment when she was nine or so for "high tea" and to do art. Now she is seventeen. The age when I first started appearing on Santino's hood at Chanel Products. About a hundred years ago. About a minute ago she was even tinier and I could pick her up and carry her. She was a tiny little thing on Chestnut Street, all hair and eyes.
I stare at her the most as she reminds me how very old we are all getting.
Anyway, once a year we all herd to Santino's and eat and drink too much and visit. There is some drama, some laughter, some romance, some tears. Always it is a huge chance for writer me to people watch. Always it is a huge chance for me to let down my hair (which I don't do) and be a person not just a mother, worker and otherwise upstanding member of the community. At Santino's I am The Virg and nothing greater or lesser. I am all that I was at seventeen. I am all of my mess ups, all of my flaws and yet they like me any way. All of the gritty bits no one in the real world knows are out there when I go there... divorce bits. Nasty hide in the closet bits. Dumb things I did when I was a kid bits. And none of it matters.
And as well it is a time when I get to be proud of who I have become. I get to talk about what I have done. I sold my book. I am still able to be on my own with three kids. All of the health stuff has not gotten me down. They are my friends. It is a strange sort of safe zone. I feel really lucky to have it.
So after all that lead in, I went to the Sept Party last night and as advertised it was all of the above. I had a few dramatic moments. I had a few exceptionally deep conversations that may or may not be remembered by the people I was having them with due to alcohol consumption. I planned two weddings and one divorce (well, I have to divorce one of them so that I can marry the other and have the second wedding...) and I got more hugs than I get in a year outside my family.
I am relaxed in a way I won't be for a year and I have a smashing headache that is fortunately my only hangover side effect.
That and lack of sleep were my only bad side effects. I have to go over and clean up. I have to get some laundry done. But part of me wishes reality could back off for another day. I have a feeling one conversation I had is going to result in an argument... but life is dull without some drama and you only live once. Once spin around per person and my friend in Warren is going through something right now which sort of brought home to me, in combination with my own health issues, that if there is something you want to do, you kind of just have to do it and let the consequences be damned. God does not promise us tomorrow. He only gives us this moment. And I took my moment. I am content with that.
For now. Then again, that is easy to say in my cocoon.
Speaking of the moment, Pray for Lucas.
Lucas is a little boy in Warren. He went to a minor league baseball game. He was sitting in the stands in his parents lap. He is four. He got hit in the head by a foul ball.
He is now and has been in Akron Children's Hospital and has had multiple surgeries due to the major trauma to his brain. They almost lost him and don't know yet what will happen to him.
All in a moment. And he is four. He went to a baseball game and was safe in his parents lap. In a moment it all changed. The team was the Scrappers and it is all over the Youngstown news but isn't getting any coverage down here. My friend Penny is his great aunt. Can you imagine?
Between that and my issues lately, I have been praying for Lucas and thinking hard about my choices. No one promises you tomorrow. Live for now, do what you can, and never regret.
*Grin* Probably I should wear a warning to that effect.
This was the newspaper article re:Lucas
He was on the news too, but I can't find the link to the show.
This is the link to the hospital if you would like to send well wishes to Lucas, he is having a rough day...