When life hands you rain clouds and you’re at the lake cottage, you make, well … the best of it. Connor and I visited Aunt Rachel, Uncle Charlie, Owen and Audrey (and fam) this weekend. Owen and Connor hit it off like they hadn’t missed a beat, which was awesome. 

match much?

The boys played really well together all day, despite a couple rain showers. They still found themselves in the lake a couple times, played catch, rode bikes and shared (and exchanged) toys. Truth be told, Connor only sat nicely for this picture because I told him I wouldn’t unlock my car to get the toy he wanted until he smiled for me. That’s right … I threatened bribed him. I’m actually in the running for the ‘Mother of the Year’ award this year. I’ll let you know how you can vote soon.

Watching them, though, reminded me of why I appreciate my relationship with Aunt Rachel. No, Aunt Rachel is not my sister. I met Rachel when we were naive 18-year-old freshmen at WMU. We lived on the same floor in Harrison Hall. I always thought Rachel was cool. She exuded confidence, was extremely witty and had a phenomenally-decorated dorm room. I enjoyed being around her. There was an “incident” during my second semester and as a result, she will always be credited with saving my life. Enough said.

She moved in with me and another housemate my junior year and lived with me until we graduated in 2002. Rachel was also the maid of honor at my wedding. She moved on to bigger and better? things aka ‘the East side’ and met the man she would marry there. It was then I knew she wouldn’t be coming back.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a terrible long-distance friend. I detest talking on the phone. Rachel, however, loves to talk and would frequently call and it would take me the standard five days to get back in touch. Ugh. It makes me feel guilty even typing it. But, when we would get together, it was like no time had passed. We could talk for hours about anything and everything. When I became a mom, I wanted her to do the same so I could talk to her about how hard it was … without scaring any baby-making desire she had out of her. The good news is she did become a mom. Times two.

Rachel and I were never the same. Much like Owen and Connor have many differences (probably as many as similarities), so do Rachel and I. But, just like when we got together this weekend, it doesn’t matter. We still had so much to talk about; our joys and our challenges; our hopes and dreams for our kids; our parents taking care of their parents … so many things. And, just like the best bud that she is she gave me two hugs when I left … because she knew I needed them.

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