Last year, this time, I met Kerri and her two young red headed boys at our park on a city cleaning day. The leaf blower man loudly cleared debris from each nook and crevice of the play structure, while we attempted to play. Judah was only 3 mo. old and napping in my Ka'Tan wrap. This was a memorable day because we learned how to make new friends.
Kerri was tall with gorgeous long highlighted hair and I was sure she couldn't be American. Her oldest boy was 4 and walked along with David up and down a half-moon cinderblock wall as we waited on the leaf blower man. Her youngest sat snuggly in his stroller. Kerri initiated conversation with me and I discovered that she was new to RP. They had just relocated from the East Coast for her husband's job. Our conversation carried on for the next hour as her oldest patiently directed David around the big kids play structure. I so enjoyed talking to Kerri, and before we parted she invited us over to play. Our first invitation to have a play date with new friends!!
Heading over to Kerri's apt for the first time, I reassured David that our destination contained lots of new toys and his new buddy. Upon entering Kerri's beautiful home, my hopes were confirmed - amazing toys and David's friend was ready to give a tour. Kerri and I chatted about our families, her husband's job at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, and I felt like I had known this woman for years. We discussed this shared familiarity, how we were thankful to have found one another. However, I was most thankful for Kerri's example of reaching out and inviting new friendship in. I'm not sure she even realized all that meant to me. She had come at a time where I was navigating the loss of close friendships and anticipating winter.
In the Spring, Kerri and her precious family ended up moving back to the East Coast for her husband's job. We didn't get enough time playing with them before they left, due to our youngest boys, their nap schedules and runny noses. However, I think of Kerri often, and it warms my heart to think about the possibilities of relationships in our futures. Kerri's family did not claim any specific belief in faith, but God definitely used her in my life to remind me that He provides. I didn't have to reach out to find her friendship, she reached out to me.
Sometimes it's easy to forget about people who are in our lives for short seasons. And sometimes, little events bring the memories back. I remember now why I knew of Cafe Bustelo, beyond that my bud Kelly shares her daily pot with me often - It's the coffee Kerri poured me on our first play date. Still more memorable was the heaping tablespoon of sugar I was offered to sweeten it! She had asked me if I took sugar, to which I replied, 'Oh yes.' And apparently that translates into a heaping tablespoon. Cafe Bustelo is so intense that one must have a heaping tablespoon of sugar to sweeten. And thus, I'm thinking of my dear friend and praying for her two boys as I enjoy yet another cup (and tbsp of sugar).