Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Day to Give Thanks.

Thanksgiving morning we gassed up at the Pilot where we'd spent the night and hit the road for the outskirts of Fort Myers.

We were having Thanksgiving with a family we'd met at ARGH (Autodidact Radical Gathering of Homeschoolers).  I was nervous, of course.

Indigo was Jonah's friend.

They met each other two years ago and have been best friends ever since.  They see each other only at ARGH.  As soon as the bus pulls in, Indigo is there to greet Jonah and welcome him back to the unschooling haven of the North Carolina mountains.  Jonah rarely even checks in.  This past ARGH, he slept every night at Indigo's.

The thing is, we don't know Indigo's family all that well.

We've talked briefly - like you talk to the parents of your kids' friends - but we never hung out.  Indigo has two younger siblings and his mom was always busy with them.  We were always busy with work or with Maeryn or with the general chaos that ensues when you have so much to do and so little time and you want to fit everything in.

So I was freaking out - as I am wont to do.

Maeryn wasn't doing much better.  She had become several animals throughout the day.

When I finally talked to her about how she was feeling she said, "I'm scared no one at Indigo's house will like me!"

I hugged her close.  I shared her fear.

So.  Unwarranted.

Our families hit it off immediately.

Things just... fell into place.

Maeryn and Indigo's little sister, Soleil ran straight to Soleil's room and shut the door.  You could hear little girl squeals of delight every two minutes.

Liz, Indigo's mom, and I talked non-stop for hours.

Marc, Indigo's dad, is a drummer, and there was conversation and jamming and general masculine bonding that I know Michael needed so badly.

We met their extended family and shared the most amazing vegan dinner I have ever experienced.  Tofurkey with stuffing and green bean casserole and mashed potatoes and mac and cheese all Jonah friendly, all dairy, egg, and peanut free...  it was heaven in a kitchen.

(I am now a believer in the magic of nutritional yeast.)

After dinner more friends came over, also unschoolers, and we talked about our kids and our lives and had such. a good. time.

We crashed there in the bus (Jonah stayed in the house with Indigo) and got up early for breakfast.

Marc made eggs, toast, and hashed browns for those of us who eat such things.  We brought bagels for the boys, who weren't super into eggs.  Coffee flowed.  Conversation flowed.

We talked philosophy and politics and nobody got angry.

Indigo, Zell (Indigo's younger brother), and neighbor boys jumped with Jonah on the trampoline in the backyard.  Maeryn and Soleil ran around the house with a stuffed dragon and dressed Soleil's little dog in a multitude of costumes (it was SO tolerant).

More friends came over.  Cat, Liz, and I talked mom stuff and shared tea and stories and traded and borrowed books from one another.  Ocean, Cat's son, played with the girls.  The younger men shot one another with Nerf guns and the olders: Marc, Michael, and Will (Cat's husband) played music and chatted.  We collaborated about art.  We traded secrets of the trade, secrets of herbs, secrets of motherhood and woman-ness.

More friends arrived and we had a mini bus painting party, where we filled three new squares with paint, joy, and love.

And it was over...

And time to go.

And there were hugs and snuggles and promises that we would get a cabin together at the next ARGH.  We left so. full.

And SO thankful.

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