He was so excited because he knew that a bunch of his friends from our playgroup would be there. He has been talking about seeing these friends, particularly "Sean with the red hair," for weeks. It was a very sweet reunion, both for Vinny and for me. We had a wonderful time at the park, as well as afterward at an impromptu McDonalds lunch with one of Vinny's most favorite friends that he missed so much. :-) They played for literally hours.
See, this group is very dear to my heart. They have become sort of, well, a family to me in a way, and even though I hadn't seen some of them in months, I was reminded of what a special group of people they are and how unique it is for my child to have long-term friends when he is not even quite 4 years old. When Vinny was about 7 months old, in 2007, we joined this sort of mommy support group. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. They have been there for me, and I have tried to be there for them. Even today, one mom, whom I remember bringing dinner to when her daughter was born 2 years ago, brought me three huge boxes of hand-me-down clothes for my upcoming arrival! I love getting hand-me-downs. Practically all of Vinny's clothes are hand-me-downs from other moms in the group. Even when I was trying to finish my student teaching and my student loan money ran out just before the last week of school, 4 different moms in the group each chipped in and took Vinny for a day so that I wouldn't have to pay for that last week of day care.
It is crazy, I was thinking about it today... they were all such babies when it began, and they are all so big now. Here are some pictures from that first year: