We have a much needed day off today and we stay in our PJ's until well into the afternoon. The sun is still out but the wind has picked up. The cold has crept out of the shadows and is right in my face as soon as I open the door. Thankfully we have friends scheduled to come play for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This gives us a reason to brush our teeth.
As soon as company arrives we rush outside. The kids head to the swings. The moms sip afternoon coffee and catch up on the latest. These are the kind of friends who are more like family. We instantly fall into play and talk. We don't see them often but the thread is never lost. My little one takes her nine year old friend's hand and leads her back into the house to get their barbies. Out they come having traded dolls for the moment and head to a bench to play. There they go we smile, our girls who love dolls.
On the other side of the yard, the two six year olds are happily trading karate chops. My girl is so happy to have a brother to spar with even if only for an afternoon. She often tells me she wishes she had an older brother. They kick the air and wave their arms wildly about. There is contact but not enough to hurt. They know the implicit rules of a mock battle.
The game shifts to surfing and they all climb on the slide to catch the pretend waves. This ends up in a jumble of sliding bodies and thumps on the grass. But all are smiling and they climb right back on for more. Finally it is time for our guests to leave and we sadly say goodbye. "I'm so glad we got outside today," says my friend in parting. Yes, so am I.