…but keep the old

josephine and i will board a flight to minnesota on thursday morning. i’m feeling especially grateful for this trip, not just for the usual joy i find in visiting my family, but also because i’m hoping it will distract me from the fact that another set of people are winging away from seattle that morning, too. allison and matt are moving their family to chicago (or, as eli calls it, “ca-gooooo!”). i’ve managed to maintain a pretty thick layer of denial around their impending departure but it’s starting to flake away and my throat tightens when i think of what we’re losing; of how much having them here for the past year has meant to the three of us.

allison and i met when she moved into the group house i was living in in dc. that was over eleven years ago. we were living together when my relationship with ned took the leap from friendship to something more; she and our other roommate deb were the people i called to report that we had finally had a first kiss.

three years later, we found ourselves living across the street from each other in seattle. her proximity meant we hung out when she wasn’t burning the midnight campaign oil. it also meant she was the victim of one of ned’s favorite april fool’s jokes. she left seattle for grad school but came back to visit with her boyfriend matt. they got engaged on that trip and we were glad to share in that special day with them.

we traveled east for their wedding three years ago. i was very very pregnant; josephine was born a month later.

a little over a year ago, ned and i were packing for our trip to hawaii when we got a call from allison. her mom was sick and needed to come to seattle for treatment. they decided that they would pick up their life, a life that included a one-year-old, and move to seattle to support her mom. that’s just the kind of people they are. a month later, they were living five blocks away.

after a crazy year in seattle during which they faced down a lot of major life events, matt landed his dream job in chicago and, so, they go. i can’t help but think of this past year as a gift, a precious little blip in time when our lives intersected once again. josephine and eli spent a year playing side-by-side. we met jesse on his first day in the world and have marveled at the growth of his cheeks ever since. allison, matt, jesse and eli have been our sidekicks on numerous adventures, as anyone who reads this blog at all regularly has seen. we had history with allison and now we have history with allison, matt, eli and jesse.

eli hung out here for a few hours this morning while allison and matt did some packing and, as we walked him home, josephine complained that he didn’t visit for a long enough time. and i realized i couldn’t promise her that he would come to play again soon. she’s already looking forward to visiting him in his new house.

goodbye for now, friends. i look forward to the next time we find ourselves living down the street from each other again.

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