Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.
I attended a fantastic annual breakfast today that was made possible by a series of pleasant surprises.
9 years ago, we made the decision to send our daughter to an ‘out of district’ school that had an educational program we felt would be in her best interest. This decision was difficult for us (the parents) as we knew it would have implications throughout school. The friends she made wouldn’t be in our neighbourhood, the drive to school would be inconvenient, and it meant our two children would probably attend different schools.
The decision worked out with all the positive outcomes we expected and we adjusted to the negative implications without feeling any pain. I never counted on the multitude of pleasant surprises that would impact my life in addition to hers. She made friendships with so many wonderful young men and women and they became a part of our lives. We got to know these kids over the years and started to include their parents in social gatherings at our house.
As they all left for university 5 years ago, we decided to have a mother and daughter breakfast over the Christmas break to catch up. This breakfast was delightful, we talked about what the girls were up to, and caught up on the mom’s lives too. We talked about the joys of having the girls free from school for a few weeks (and home for those living away), and the surprise of being reminded how messy they are as they changed clothes multiple times for their various outings. We discussed our family gatherings, how lovely it is to have a houseful of guests or visit relatives, and the additional pleasure of quiet time afterwards to relax and reflect and eat and read. It could have easily ended there, but as we said good-bye someone said “This was so nice, we should do it again next year”. And so we did.
We attended the breakfast this morning, 5th time, same place, and photo in the same spot. We don’t make a big deal of it, we never make reservations, and the moms don’t organize. The girls pick the time, the date, and the transportation depending on where everyone is headed afterwards. The waitresses smiled when we walked in and said – “Oh, you’re the moms and daughters that get together every year”. And when we asked one to take our photo before we ordered, the others stood and watched and commented “Don’t you usually take the photo after breakfast?” We do usually take the photo at the end and we decided this year that it felt too rushed so we changed it up!
So many moments led to this breakfast today. I could have passed through my life never meeting this group of people, if we hadn’t sent our daughter to that school, if she hadn’t met this group of friends, if the girls didn’t include the moms in their lives and conversations, if we didn’t have the first breakfast, and if we didn’t make the effort to keep it going.
These women, the moms and the daughters, have become an important part of my life. It’s nice to check in with people just because you want to. We have nothing in common, and everything in common. We care deeply about family, we have daughters who are confident and courageous, we honour traditions, and we feel connected.
For an introverted girl geek like me, these types of connections are vital and meaningful.