Imagine you could find someone that you want to become friends through the click of a cursor. That is what happened one day while I was browsing blogs on blogger. I clicked ‘homeschooling’ on my profile and up popped Theresa’s picture and her blog, Our Life in Words. Like me, she has two daughters. Life me, she had experience in education. Like me, she loves books. Like me, she was considering homeschooling her daughters who were in public school. Like me, she felt education was about more than testing and that our children’s creativity was being lost. Like me, she looked deep within herself and after careful consideration with her husband, she withdrew her daughters and became a homeschooling family.
I told my husband that I feel like I have known her forever. So many stories have come up through our blogging and we would find ourselves commenting back and forth that we have had the same experience or feeling or issue in our lives.
Making the decision to take your children out of school is a large one. To share the experience with someone else is not only helpful and reassuring it is comforting. Our friendship was forged through the back and forth of blogland but was solidified when we decided that since we both live close to NYC we should meet and introduce our families.
We met this weekend and again, I had the feeling that a true friendship was in the making. We decided to meet at the Dakota, the landmark building where John Lennon lived and died. Since it was the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday, the entrance to Central Park was crowded with visitors.
I have never walked through this part of Central Park. Theresa and I commented it felt like we were in another country. Couples on dates rowed boats on the pond. Others sat on benches soaking up the sunshine and the peace and tranquility. It was a day when anything was possible. Our girls scrambled up rocks, down bamboo forests, under stone archways and over fallen logs. Far off in the distance we might hear the wail of a siren but the only tell tale sign we were in a major city was the breathtaking skyline.
One part of the day that reminded me how special New York City is was when we were watching street performers dance and they were collecting tips from the audience. As people put money into their bags they would announce where the person was from. Spain, Guatemala, Palestine, El Salvador were all represented. It reminded me of John’s lyrics: Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
After we saw the Imagine mosaic at the entrance to Strawberry Fields, we all piled into Theresa’s mini-van and headed downtown to Bleeker Street for the best pizza ever. Seriously. Ever. We were not planning on having dinner together because I knew they were planning pizza and Grace’s gluten free diet can be hard when pizza is involved. When they offered to have us join them, we accepted figuring that on Bleeker Street we would find something Grace could eat. As luck would have it, on the corner was Five Guys burgers and the staff at John’s Pizza graciously let her eat it at the table so she could be with her friends. We met Theresa’s Uncle and talked about art and Brooklyn and homeschooling. It was cozy and comfortable. Dinner with new friends who felt like old friends. Cheers to us!
Our day ended strolling, looking at street vendor’s wares, and having decadent chocolate gelato for dessert until nightfall and some sleepy girls made us realize our home was two hours away by train and it was getting late. We parted ways on the corner with hugs and handshakes and promises to get together again soon.
I feel very blessed to have had this day. It was one of those days you look back on often and every time the memory brings a smile to your face.
...You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one...
Thank you John Lennon for your gifts to this world. It was not by design that we met on your birthday but merely by chance. Yet your birthday will now be synonymous with the start of a new friendship. Imagine all the possibilities.