It doesn't happen very often where you find a family that just fits with yours. We have been friends with the Johnson's since Chase was 1 and Macie was 3. It is a relationship that has grown from a casual, neighborly friendship to a strong family bond. I believe that only true and lasting friendships grow over time. I am always skeptical when one appears out of nowhere and is founded on mere circumstance or proximity.
Their son Clayton is the same age as Macie and Carter is Owen's BEST friend in the entire world. I am like sisters with Margaret, and Corey is one of the only male friends Stewart has that he didn't grow up with. It's the kind of friendship where everything goes without question. I know when my kids are with them they will be cared for. I don't have to worry about if they'll get fed, are they in the way, do I need to go get them. It's the same with us. Carter can spend an entire day here like he is my own child. That's how I look at them. When they are here they are mine. It's the kind of friendship where I trust their judgment to discipline my kids and vice versa.
We've been through a lot together. Surgeries, births, deaths, school successes and failures, family dysfunction, birthdays, field trips, er visits, vacations, sleepovers, barbecues, holidays. To put it simply, they are our family away from family. We've got no family here available for support so we've learned to lean on each other a great deal.
We had to say goodbye to the Johnson's on Sunday. The job market, being as unsteady as it has been forced Corey to look for a new job. What he landed was a huge step up for him and for their family. It was an offer they couldn't refuse. Along with the new job also meant relocating to Frisco, Texas.
They came quickly Sunday morning to say goodbye. We had really already said goodbye over a series of coffees, lunches and late night drinks but Sunday was really it. Carter and Owen didn't even really realize what was happening. It was probably better that way because it was already difficult enough for me to manage. I fought back tears to no avail and finally just let them all out because I couldn't hold it in anymore. They are getting settled and have many new things to look forward to. We've got things to look forward to also. Like trying to make some new friendships. Real friends are hard to come by.