This past October, my high school graduating class held its 20th reunion. I had no intention of going, until I received an email from Claudia, a friend I hadn't seen since our graduation. This friend was a German exchange student our senior year, and we were really good friends. Except that we hadn't seen each other in 20 years because she returned to Germany after we graduated.
She decided to come over from Germany for our reunion!!!!
We did some catching up via email before she came over, and I invited her to stay with us.
I knew that just visiting briefly at a reunion was not going to be sufficient.
I was right! She came in (along with her oldest daughter, Lucy, who was just a little older than my daughter, Brooklyn) on Wednesday night and stayed with us until Sunday.
Lucy spoke very little English, but it somehow wasn't a problem. When required, Claudia translated for her, and when we weren't around, Brooklyn used Google translate to communicate with her.
Turns out, Claudia has three kids in the exact ages of mine, although she doesn't have a 4 year old.
Lucy fit right in among my kids and it felt absolutely wonderful having the two of them in our home.
Claudia and I spent hours talking and catching up and it felt so perfect - like our friendship just picked right back up with no interruption.
Thursday morning, I made pancakes for everyone because it's a very American food that Claudia wanted Lucy to experience. It was a hit!
Claudia was so precious with my kids. She said having Wyeth to love on made it a little easier to be away from her own 2 year old daughter, Lotta.
Brooklyn and Lucy hit it off much as Claudia and I did years ago when we first met in high school.
It's so amazing to see how that works.
Although they were jet lagged, they pushed through and we played at a local park with my sister-in-law, Anna and her kids.
Friday evening we took our family to the CAC Homecoming Football game. It was a treat for my kiddos.
One of the other things Lucy really wanted to experience was an American mall, so off we went!
Welcome to an American mall!
While the girls shopped till they dropped, Wyeth needed a diversion. Pretending to ride a motorcycle was just the thing.
The kids also found the massage chairs hilarious.
Saturday evening, Kyle kept the kids while Claudia and I went to the reunion dinner.
Our graduating class was really small, only like 55 people (I think), and of those, about 21 people made an appearance either at the Homecoming Game or at the dinner.
Seated L to R: Claudia, Heidi and Stephanie
Standing behind: Me and Kelley
On Sunday, Claudia and Lucy came to church with us and experienced serving in the nursery! They had never seen a church like ours in Germany, and unfortunately we didn't stay for second service because Claudia's host sister from high school was picking them up from our house.
We were so sad to see them go.
The whole bunch!
Claudia, Lucy and my children
How I love my friend.
I wish we were not separated by an ocean, but I cherish her friendship nonetheless.
Meanwhile, our own daughters began a friendship that I hope will also endure.
Lucy and Brooklyn each got "best friend" lockets to remind them of their time together and the potential for years to come.