You know, I always thought I wouldn’t ever care what people said to me when the subject of kids came up. And for the most part I don’t. But occasionally, I just get tired of the reaction. And honestly, it’s only probably when I’m too tired or don’t have enough time to tell the whole story. (as if knowing the whole story suddenly makes it less crazy to them…) And a few occasions I think I’ve just wanted to be me to someone new. So as long as they didn’t bring up the subject of kids… I didn’t either. 😉
But then there are times (most of the time) where my kids and all that God has done in my life is so intricitally part of who I am… that it’s one of the first things I tell someone about after I meet them.
You might say, How do you meet people? Aren’t you home 95% of the time with your kids. Yes, I am. But ever since I was little I was a people person. I don’t think I’ve ever met a stranger. I think I inherited that trait from my dad. It makes plane trips SO exciting and fun, it makes coffee shops a breeding ground for new friends and good conversations, it turns any waiting room into a play date, and turns my living room into a hip salon where women gather to share the little and big about their lives.
I’m serious, you wouldn’t believe the most random people God’s put into my life over the past few years… even the past few months. Kindred Spirits. People I can’t wait to dive into and get to know more over the coming years. (if you’re one of those people, stacy, collette, lindsey, gloria, lara…..just to name a few, you make my life fuller… better.. happier.)
I do want to encourage you if you’re reading this and can’t remember the last time you met someone new or shared your story with a total stranger. It’s awkward sometimes, sometimes you don’t get much back, and sometimes they may look at you like you have 10 heads… but I’ve found that most times, they are hungry for conversation, for friends, for stories that are different but probably similar in many ways to their own, for an opportunity to tell their story to someone new.
If you live in apartments like I do, you will find that it’s one of the hardest but easiest ways to meet new people. Apartment living tends to lend itself to a private existence, which is ironic due to the fact that you share thin walls, small patches of grass, a gym and a mailbox. But I HATE not knowing who I live near. So, we’ve really tried to get to know those around us. The experiences we’ve had thus far have been very varied, But after a little over 2 years, I have a Lindsey, who is a dear friend whose little girl, Airiana, I love as if she were my own niece, There’s Gloria, who happens to be taking in a toddler after raising her own children and we share talks over our back railing as her little dog goes out, sharing unexpected parenting highs and lows. And there is Theresa, who might as well be like a great aunt to my kids as she comes to birthday parties and has zoe play with her granddaughter for an afternoon. And there’s the group of boys who skateboard most afternoons and provide endless hours of entertainment for my kiddos. (don’t really know you but if I did… I’d say Thank you for not minding the cheers and support my toddlers give you each day!!)
I’ve found that summer pool time has made it so much easier to meet people and find out some of their story. It’s almost as if when the towels and wraps come off, so do some of the walls to our life. Dogs are also a great way to introduce yourself to neighbors. Get to know the names of their pets… have a doggie treat for them if it’s common to run into them. Mail mix ups happen often…. go to their door instead of the office to give them their mail. And when someone moves into your building…. and you KNOW when they do, because it’s often loud. Bring them cookies or my favorite Rice Krispie Treats. That one effort will go a long way in the neighbor relationship you’ll have over at least the next 6-12 months.
And yes, people move away… they drift…. they don’t stay in touch. But they were a part of your life for that chapter. And maybe even for a longer season… and some, they will be there for a lifetime.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.”
You may be newlyweds, parents with kids that are grown, or in the middle of the craziness of raising kiddos… but no matter where God has you right now, you have a story to tell. You have something that people talk to you about. You have opportunities to start conversations. Start them. You will probably be surprised where they lead.
9 Nichols Rice Krispie Treat Recipe: (Makes a lot!!)
1 1/3 sticks of salted butter
3 10oz bags of mini marshmallows
1 12oz. box of Rice Krispie Cereal (or 3 overflowing 4 cup pyrex measuring cups)
1-2 tsp Vanilla extract
In LARGE pot slowly melt butter and marshmallows. Then add the vanilla. Take off heat and add in the Rice Krispies and stir to make sure you get the gooey stuff at the very bottom of the pot. (I’ve found a Big Metal Spoon and a Handsome Man works best for this job. ;)) Once mixed then pour into a lightly greased 9×13 + 8X8. I’ve found that running your hands under some water then pressing down makes for a less sticky way of packing the mixture into the pan.
We love to put ours in the fridge and even sometimes the freezer.
Now, go make some and then go tell your story to someone.