For 3 years we've met on Tuesdays.
Straight after school drop-off we've headed to the park near the beach.
Someone picks up the coffees.
We bring snacks, drinks, scooters, hats, sunscreen, coats, the stories of our weeks.
They used to need us to push them on the swings, supervise their sand-pit play, referee their disagreements.
The scooters were taller than them.
Mostly they played alongside each other rather than with.
We rarely finished a thought let alone a conversation.
Now they count down the days til park Tuesdays.
Their park buddies are their best buddies.
They hatch plots, swing madly, run up the slides the wrong way, ride their scooters so fast we can't bear to watch.
They need us only for food and toilet trips.
We stand and we chat, we sip our coffee, for an hour (or two or three) we try to forget the to-do list and we indulge ourselves in some idle chatter, harmless gossip, sharing our woes, our good fortunes, our lives.
We've come to rely on this little window of time in our busy weeks.
To cherish this group of women for support and wisdom, friendship and advice.
Yesterday was our last official park day. The holidays will start, the big brothers and sisters will be with us for the next few visits and then full time school next year.
And so we will change.
We will gather - for lunch or craft or play tennis or do pilates.
They will catch up after school, or at soccer, play dates, random park sessions.
Park Tuesdays may be no more ... but they are evolving ... to something more long-lasting and equally valuable.
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Do you have a group of women you gather with regularly? How did you meet? What do you do together? I'd love to hear.