Neighbors who are family

Traditions bring calm, joy and feel like a big hug of love surrounding you. We were lucky to begin a new tradition once Giovanni and Isannah were well enough and at home to be a part of it. Every Christmas Eve, thanks to our beautiful friends/neighbors/family really, they began coming over to our house with their youngest son to exchange presents for the little ones. We got to share hugs and conversation. It was the best having them in our home which allowed me to begin another tradition of taking pictures with the kids together and with the Falcone’s together. That made me so happy to be able to capture those moments. Each year this happened even when they welcomed their daughter who joined the tradition with us. The tradition continued for all the kids up until their son who started it all with us got older. He was 10 years or so and stopped coming but the tradition continued even through COVID. Although not inside our home or by our Christmas tree we still meet outside. The feeling is still the same because we get to share the joy of giving and the love of friends. 

Now my kids are turning 11 years old, about the age that their son was when he stopped joining. I’m hoping that no matter the age or the years that pass this tradition carries on. Maybe not with exchanging gifts but with the love of friendship that has grown stronger as each year passes. The fondness of friends that are now our family. 

Right now they play outside when it’s warm and even when it’s cold. They laugh, they scream, they get out of control but they still play together and I love hearing and knowing they are there. 

Giovanni and Isannah will start middle school next year but I hope the friendship they each developed through the years will be remembered always no matter the years that pass by. Maybe they won’t be playing on the streets all together like they do now but the respect and love will always be there. 

Until the ages start to show, I will enjoy every moment that we have now.  

My heart is so happy that the friend I met in elementary school is still a constant in my life. She gifted all of this to me and my family and I am forever grateful.

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