They're Matt and Gerry, two of the people I've known the longest since moving to Portland -- I met Matt in 2001 at the Vesta call center, and Gerry a little later in some non-work situation. We've known each other through some major events, and have eaten together and seen movies together and shot the breeze together. And then they moved to Hawaii for several years. Dammit, I never took them up on an offer to visit them over there, but only saw them during a visit back here to celebrate the young girl they had adopted.
Which they followed by adopting three more young girls. And I got to meet them all Wednesday! They live in Portland now -- longish story that's not mine to tell -- and live within a reasonable distance of my current house. Good encouragement for visiting them more.
So, after years, I got to hug Matt and Gerry again. I met the kids, and immediately learned that I was going to be "Uncle Chris" for my visit, as even friends who aren't related by blood get called "Aunt" or "Uncle" by families in Hawaii. Sign of respect, it is. I did what I could to earn that respect. The girls showed off some of their things -- one of them just got a bicycle for her birthday. They were (and are) high-energy, and enthused about the pizza we had for dinner and the brownies we had for dessert, then went elsewhere in the house to relax, enthusiastically, for the rest of the night. They were a little more spun up than usual as school was starting the next day; getting them prepared for bed was an adventure, one I'm not used to. Matt and Gerry were meant to be parents, though, and they've taken to that job.
I spent the afternoon and evening surrounded by love and inside jokes. I needed that.
I've needed to be more social, and thank goodness I've done more socializing lately than just that. Friday night Mom visited, and I took her for the first time to Big-Ass Sandwiches's brick-and-mortar. Last night was talking, hot dogs and drinks (ginger ale for me, because I'd donated blood earlier that day) with Mat. (He's a different Mat, with one T. I thought I should spell that out.)
Social. Sociable. Socializing. Saying "'Sup?" It's possible.