For the past two years, I’ve hosted Friendsgiving at my house. It was always testimony for me and my son that we belonged somewhere in the hearts of others. Family will always love you regardless, depending on the foundation it was built on, but friends are found. True friendship is built on trust that is earned.

Most of my life, I struggled with finding friends as I was home schooled from 5 years old to 13, and then I isolated myself when I attended public school in my high school years. In high school, I knew I was different, so it was best to keep it that way. However, currently in my life, I have several friends who genuinely care about me and my son. I love to invite them all over for a family like setting such as Thanksgiving, hence why we have Friendsgiving.

The greatest part of Friendsgiving are the children. They interact so well together and play like minded games. They’re laughter, smiles and giggles fill the room. I always catch myself smiling ear to ear watching them all engage together in imaginary fun, such as Minecraft tag.

This year was the first year that I didn’t plan a Friendsgiving, because I had moved into a smaller home which meant less people and in my state of depression, I just didn’t believe that it would be as enjoyable. However, my son connected that Friendsgiving usually happens right before Thanksgiving every year, so he was wondering when this year’s event would happen. I disappointed him when I told him that I wasn’t planning one. “Well, what about my friends?”, he asked so sadly. At that moment, I knew that he was right. I realized that it meant just as much to him as it did to me. Even if I couldn’t see all of my friends, he needed to see his for Friendsgiving. Unfortunately, I only left myself about a week to plan it. I wasn’t concerned about food like I usually do, I’ll just set up a meat and cheese platters for sandwiches. I wasn’t concerned about all of my friends coming like I usually stress about, I knew it was short notice. All I really wanted was my son to have his friends come over. I wanted him to feel that love and acceptance from others that I was seeking for when I was his age. I want him to feel like he will always have a friend close by. So, after only inviting those who have kids, only half of them were able to show up. Which was still okay by me and Ty. He understood the circumstances that it was late notice, regardless, we felt as though any friends could make this event spectacular.

When, our friends arrived, regardless how small, it still felt perfect. The kids playing so nicely together was just beautiful. I getting a chance to catch up without the stresses of neglecting others. Each person contributed something to our meal, it was simple yet flawless. Then, the kids played outside and ran off some sugar since it was such a gorgeous day. The kids chased one another holding garden shovels and Minecraft foam swords. Some played on the swing set, and others took turns leaping from a stump. Eventually, the adults joined in on the fun as some played soccer or was throwing the Frisbee. I  watched as the yard filled up with laughter and play. It was quite wonderful to see. Once, we all got tired, everyone started going back inside. My son and Charli went inside first to discover that my pesky cat ate our ham off the platter. I wasn’t even mad, it was the highlight of the night. Her sneaky ways just added an extra boost of laughter. Plus, I had more ham in the fridge. Then, we all joined inside just in time before a storm rolled in.

The best part was watching the children make crafts. I tried to keep them all in suspense with announcing that there were four different crafts to make.

1) Creating a bag to hold all of the crafts with stickers:

2) Drawing a gingerbread man (or girl):

3) Making glittery bulbs with glitter glue pens:

4) Making hand print Christmas trees:

Although, I’m sure the parents hated me for the mess I’ve created upon their children, I hope the keepsakes make up for it all. I know, I enjoyed seeing each of their personalities and perspectives spill out into their crafts. They were all beautiful and unique in their own little way. Just adorable!

I’m glad my son talked me into hosting another Friendsgiving. They truly are a blessing to have. Big or small, regardless I know who is in my corner and who isn’t. Plus, my son gets to have his own little Friendsgiving as well, so I’ve learned that these are not all about my friends, but also about his. Friendsgiving is about bringing those together that you don’t get to see everyday and celebrating them.

You can find more photos of the event in the blog, Friendsgiving by i. Glenn.

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Written by J. Marie

Founder/Owner, Perfectly Imperfect Parents - Single Mom . Blogger . Photographer . Bar Marketing Manager and Bartender . Artist of Frame Design . Part-Time Student to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

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