Gratitude and Joy

Day 63 – A Year of Gratitude and Joy – Bonus Kids

Growing up, we moved a lot, but no matter where we lived I managed to find a best friend. Somewhere around middle school, every best friend’s mom became like a second mom. In 8th grade, I met my best friend for life. Her mom was my second mom for the rest of her life. 

When I had kids, I tried to be that second mom to their friends. I’d like to believe that, even if none of them turned into lifelong relationships, they each took away happy memories of our times together.

Now, Greg and I seem to attract younger friends who ask if we can adopt them. Some of it starts out as a joke when we share stories of traveling with our kids or grandkids … “I want to be your kid.” Some just develop into relationships that feel “parental.” We call them our bonus kids.

We’ve mentioned Farah, from City Kitchen. Shortly after meeting her, she invited us to join her and many friends at her home for a Fourth of July party. During the party, a number of people thought we were her actual parents. For the record, we’ve met them and they are terrific. It was an honor to be confused with them.

We adore Farah … and am thrilled with her joy.

Through Greg’s USC Alumni Association, we met Tal and Geoff. We have so much in common with them that it’s hard to think of them as bonus kids. We talk about work and life and fun as if we had known them our whole lives. They are more like us than our own kids. Maybe they are actually our kids and we just didn’t know it.

Fun times with bonus kids Tal and Geoff

There are Owen and Marissa. The pair started out as neighbors in an apartment building. Our friendship soon grew into weekends at wineries and dinners out. We spent time in each other’s apartments, shopped together and had a blast at their wedding when they tied the knot. Marissa’s parents even thanked us for being there for the young couple. 

Sharing wine with bonus daughter Marissa.

Recently, we added Amanda to our bonus kid list. She’s one of Greg’s coworkers. He’s become something like a cross between a mentor, a dad and a boss. Not officially any of those things, he was able to add a social element to their relationship. One trip back east, we met her at a favorite winery and ended up spending several hours just chatting and laughing. 

That time when you try to snap a pic and it comes out way too blurry. UGH!

There’s something special about bonus kids. You don’t have the daily worry, but they are constantly in your mind. I see things regularly that make me think of one or more of them. We try to make sure to find time to see them on trips to where they live. They add smiles to our days and hearts.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. I hope you find a bonus kid of your own somewhere along the way.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2022 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

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