Thursday, April 4, 2013

Closing a Chapter

Last night, we met many, many friends for dinner to celebrate Mr. Ryan becoming Dr. Ryan. The children wanted to dress for the occasion:
They each chose on their own. Issa had to wear her Duke cheerleader outfit, and Evan had to wear a tie (with his Spiderman flip-flops). They were so excited for him--we all were.

In so many ways, this was the end of a chapter for us. Ryan was the last of our little doc student family to finish. When we met, I was pregnant with this one:
When Brad finished, I was on maternity leave with this one:
While we celebrated Ryan, I was surprised by how many people shared those memories, those milestones. There have been five other births, and one of them was there last night. Some of us have moved across the country or across the world. I looked across tables to see some young pups who are still in the throes of the doc program, and some that are so new I didn't even know them. We shared memories of lab parties and advisor moments. We shared news about the people who have moved, and we talked about next steps for those that are still here. We celebrated.
It was the end of a chapter in the story book, but not the end of a family. These are some of the people that have become surrogate aunts and uncles here in the Triangle for our kiddos, who are there when we need a hand or a laugh or a night out. They are the family we choose, and I am so, so grateful they choose us, too.

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