I mentioned a few weeks ago about wanting to be "adopting" by some grandparents nearby. Fortunately, in some ways we have that family. Unfortunately, they are still an hour away from us. But we are honorary members of Charlie's college roommate's extended family. Charlie has spent every New Year's Eve at their party with the exception of 2 since he was 14 years old. I quickly learned that to be with Charlie meant being with this family on New Year's Eve. When they were younger, it was a big party of all of their friends. Now it is mostly family, a couple of neighbors and us. They are one of those families where everyone lives nearby. Charlie's friend and his wife have two kids, both sets of grandparents are in town, his sister and her family are in town and his brother-in-law's parents are in town too. And we are honorary members of this extended clan. They are still an hour away but it's nice to know they are there for us and our kids. As I said before, I want as many people as possible to love and look out for my kids.
Yesterday was his friend's birthday. Every March the whole family gets together to go out to dinner for his birthday. It always seems to be a last minute thing with little notice. Charlie kept saying we would be going out this weekend for his birthday. But the call never came. We even joked at dinner Friday night about a last minute invite. I told him that we shouldn't be too presumptuous. Maybe he didn't want to celebrate his 40th birthday. Charlie sure didn't. But at 7:30 Friday night, they called and invited us to Outback for an early Saturday dinner. We always eat this birthday dinner early because it's just easier with a group and kids. I laughed and thought about how nice to have the predictability and comfort of old friends. We can count on them and they can count on us. Their younger son turns 8 next week and Laci and him had fun playing Angry Birds. Their daughter is 10 and so cute with Calvin. As we left, Laci commented that we should get together with them more often. She's right. We should.