About two and a half years ago, a tradition was born. It came about thanks to a rather providential occurrence, being the formation of my mother's group. Being first time mama's, we were eager to share in the experience of motherhood with people who knew exactly what each of us were going through. So six from the wider group of mama's, decided to begin the tradition based on our mutual love of good food, good wine and good conversation. Only months earlier perfect strangers, then before we realised, we were w(h)ining and dining together on a monthly basis.
We originally labelled these nights as Cheap & Cheerful, due simply to the fact that we like to keep it as simple, hassle free and fun as we can. No need for swanky venues with a chef hat rating. Just nice, relaxed places that are reasonably close to home. There are certainly no shortage of mouth watering options in the area we live in, so we enjoy quite the cross section of foods from basic pub meals to more exotic cuisine. The best part is we get to catch up with each other sans babes. Always resulting in good solid discussion. With no interruptions.
Last night was actually our first gal's dinner for 2011 and we found ourselves back at one of our fave Lebanese restaurants. Boy, did we eat our weight in dips and breads and salads and meats AND vegetables. A lovely Oyster Bay white to accompany our delicious meal. Then customary of course to round off the night with an indulgent serving of Baklava. Always tastes better and removes some of the guilt when it's shared. So that's exactly what we did.
As per usual, alot of our chit chat revolved around the kids, the hubby's and our work. All of the girls, bar myself, were born and bred overseas. All from either the UK or The US, as are all of their hubby's. This brings about an entirely new layer of challenges that I haven't had to face as a mama. These gals are majorly homesick for a great portion of their lives and seem to live for their next trip home or when home visits them. Listening to each of them speak last night made me feel really fortunate that I do not have to walk in their shoes. I am raising my boys here in Australia, where ALL of my family reside. Where almost ALL of my long term friends reside. The same goes for Scott with his family and friends. I have literally no concept of how difficult, how much of a struggle and emotional pull these gals must go through every single day.
Hearing them speak so frankly, I began to fully appreciate the bond we have formed over these past few years. I know they feel the same way. In fact probably even more so than I do. In some ways, our support network that started as a mother's group, then evolved into a circle of mama's getting together for a cheap & cheerful night out once a month, has become a close knit band of friends. Sharing, supporting and understanding each other as though we'd known one another all our lives. Needless to say, we are looking most forward to our next gal's dinner, sometime in March and as always, a few much loved catchup's penciled in with our adorable babes in tow.