There was a climbing structure, a kiddie pool, yummy snacks and good company.
After playing outside for a while, the kids built marble runs. The adults talked and relaxed.
One of the best parts of this vacation was introducing Ben to our Chicago people. We are surrounded by supportive people in the RGV - we've got a parents support group, and our church and MOPS have been fantastic. However, we don't have much history with friends in the Valley.
Ann, on the other hand, has known me since I was 18. She was my post-college roommate, maid of honor and giver of Evan's baby shower. She's known me through my entire relationship with Emmett, my dad's death, and my inner city move. She's walked with me through a lot.
I've talked to Ann several times since Ben was born; she's been a sounding board for my concerns and fears. She bought me a copy of Babies With Down Syndrome - and then got a copy for herself. When I told her I was reading A Good and Perfect Gift by Amy Julia Becker, she got that book as well. She made the effort to walk through Ben's first year with me, even from a great distance.
I'm thankful for the way she loves me - whether we are near or far.