I’ve become a pro at time management, although I’m not quite sure how I got there. That’s the truth. I used to be that person that everyone told the incorrect time to show up for stuff, as in, “Hey, we’ll be there at ten!”” when they knew good and well I’d be running late and really no one was going to show up until eleven. I wish I was exaggerating, but it’s sadly true. Somehow, and I’ll admit, nine years is a lot of time to get it down, I’ve managed to get on top of things and be punctual. It makes me feel rather grown up and responsible.

So I was shocked to sleep in till 8:30 this morning and not panic when I knew we had to be out of the house by ten, as Little Brooks’ good friend was having a birthday at Chuck E. Cheese followed by a basketball game. This would be one of those days my husband would have begged to be left home. He gets anxious around crowds and lots of noise now, and Chuck E. Cheese is definitely both, though I can imagine, he’d give anything to deal with that bit of torture right about now just to be home with us for a short while.

But I digress.

We were able to get out the door in time, with half an art project completed. I had the boys make the start of Valentine’s Day cards for veterans. I’m the leader of a Camp Fire USA group and every year they collect cards for veterans from the kiddos and distribute them around the holiday. I love this project because the kids get so excited about making vets feel better. All of our  kiddos this year have parents serving in the military, with some parents deployed, returning from a deployment, or facing a deployment. These kids get it, because for them, they see sacrifice up close, and they understand what it means to wear that uniform every day.

The cards are not yet finished, but here’s what Brooks and his best friend worked on:

So our super busy Saturday started off well. Chuck E. Cheese’s was fun, and Brooksy enjoyed spending time with his friends.

I have to say, one  of the things I feel best about, when it comes down to moving, because moving is just inherently part of the military, is that regardless of whether it’s us moving or someone we’ve become close to moving away, Brooks has always managed to create these amazing, strong, personal bonds with other kids his age. He loves his best friend fiercely, and has truly been blessed with some amazing close friends in his short life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think, those friendships have taught him some keen insights into himself, the kind of person he wants to be, how to reciprocate, love, forgive, empathize, a lot of those key lessons we hope to impart on our children, but which, sometimes they need to feel out first hand for themselves.

Brooks has experienced the pain of close friends moving away, just as we’ve sometimes been the ones to pick up and go. Wouldn’t our lives be a little less colorful, a little less full without the benefit of some neat, close, and dear friendships? Family, obviously, always comes first, but a good friend is something that everyone should have the joy of experiencing. One of the ways we’ve made sure he’s been able to create close friendships is by continually exposing him to new activities, sports, groups, or functions.

Here he is with his best buddy:

And the birthday girl:

We left the party a little bit early and headed to his basketball game. It was our first game of the season on our own, but we had two of his friends with us, who both helped cheer him on. It’s funny, at this age, they are yet to be embarrassed by me. I keep wondering when exactly that will happen, since some of these kiddos are already ten. Either way, I had them saying the silliest chants and cheers.  Brooksy loved it.

And after such a busy morning I dropped The Boy off at his best friends for a sleepover. Brooksy was so sweet, knowing full well I was going home by myself he said, as I left, and after a huge hug and the longest kiss ever, “Mom, feel free to call me whenever, okay? I’m here for you.”  Ever my sweet boy.