Even though it is only 8pm, I am already in bed. Not actually 'in' bed, but sitting on the bed watching TV - with my trusty canine pal in her favourite place nestled into cushions on the floor. It's a real girls' night in and the reason we are upstairs so early is because my daughter has a group of friends round for dinner and we have come upstairs to give them some space and privacy. I quite like snuggling down to watch TV upstairs so it really is no hardship.
My bedroom is the width of the house and so is above the kitchen and the dining room. Although I can't hear actual conversations, I am aware of the chattering and laughing going on downstairs. The opening and closing of the oven door and the clink of cutlery on crockery is a clue that the cooking part of the evening is over and they have moved into the dining room to eat.
As I listen to the rise and falls of their voices I smile and give thanks that she has such a close group of friends. They have shared her happy times and given strength and sympathy in the bad. How she would have got through the year before last without them I do not know. Parents can give support and love, but there are some things that need to be discussed and advised through your own peer group. I am thankful that at this point, they are there to see and hear about how things are so much better now. To share in happy times again. They have all had a role in helping her turn her life around.
This particular group of friends include girls who she met when she was 11 and have shared 16 years of growing up; some are more recent additions to the group. Some have already embarked on starting families, some are seeking new jobs, some trying to decide if the time is right to settle down, one is about to move house. They all have their parts to play in the dynamic of the group.
The overall hubbub of the conversation is interspersed with the occasional gasp - 'NO!' 'Oh my life!' 'He didn't!' What?' 'Seriously?' and I wonder what tale is being told. No doubt she will share any funny stories tomorrow over breakfast.
The volume of their chatter diminishes, I can hear the dishwasher being opened. The evening is drawing to a close. 'Bye Babe' 'Thanks a lot, Hon' 'That was great Rach' 'See you soon' and the front door closes. The dog senses that it is safe to return downstairs and rushes down to see if any leftovers are available for supper.
This is written as part of Alexa's idea to share Simply a Moment each month.