Good friends are the only things that makes living in a foreign country manageable. I'm not sure how the past two years would have gone for us as a family if we did not have such a wonderful community of American (and other expat) families in Manila. A sad and inevitable byproduct of being in the foreign service is saying goodbye to dear friends as people move on to other over seas posts or back to the States. Families are always coming and going and making new friends while saying farewell to people you care about is just a way of life in the foreign service. I know this and can accept this but it's our first time having to say goodbye. Unfortunately, ALL of our good friends are leaving in the next few weeks. That's both my wonderful SAHM friends and their sweet kiddos we've gotten to know so well as well as all our great single and married without kid friends we love to hang out with. We are so sad to be without these wonderful families for this next year. I know it isn't goodbye; only see you later but it's still hard.
It was so nice to have friends and play mates just a short elevator ride away in our building. If the meltdown hour of 3 PM was tough we'd just get together to play and distract the kids until dinner was ready. Swim dates, sharing lunch, building forts, carpooling to and from school, Mom's commiserating dates; it was all so wonderful and I'm dearly going to miss it. Poor Addie is saying goodbye to her best pals and she isn't really totally coherent of it. She knows they are all getting on airplanes to the "States" (she now calls home the "States"). The concept that she will not be playing with them again hasn't really sunk in. My two favorite little boys have really become like the brothers Addie doesn't have. They play together like they are family and it's wonderful to watch their games of chase and rough housing. Addie loves these boys, her best friends.
I think it's going to hit me hardest without my two favorite SAHM Mom buds to call up when I just need to chat. Who in the world will I complain to and laugh with about silly household things that generally seem insignificant enough to bother my husband with but are key conversations between my girlfriends and I?
Yesterday we had a tea party with Stella and Tiger. Addie and Stella are thick as thieves. It's sweet to see them go from toddling 1 year old babies playing around one another to creative imaginary playmates. Yesterday it was all about going to the ball and dancing (bouncing) on the bed. Oh, how we will miss you dear friends. Thank you to my dear friends (you know who you are) who have made this adventure in Manila a wonderful and happy experience for me and my kids. Until we meet again (in Virginia or elsewhere). Good luck! We love you.