It had been years.
I’ve become so accustomed to emailing and texting and long pre-planned get-togethers on the calendar that the drop-in had become almost obsolete in my life.
Until that day when I was gifted with a drop-in visit.
Last winter I had the biggest deadline of my life. I quarantined myself, wore and slept in the same clothes for days, sent my husband and boys off on multiple three day weekend trips and got to work. I said no more often than a two-year-old and focused on one thing: my deadline. I agreed to no extracurricular activity that needed to be planned in advanced, only listened to music without words, and the dog and I spent way too much time locked up in my bedroom surrounded by empty iced coffee cups.
Then it happened. My doorbell rang. And no one was scheduled to be ringing it.
And in walked an angel and a miniature angel in the form of my friend Maria and her one-year-old adorable baby boy. They came up into the underbelly of my project – my filthy room surrounded by wrappers and imaginary crumpled up papers and stagnant air. And the baby played on the ground and smiled and flirted with me, and Maria sat on my bed and told me stories and asked me questions.
It was glorious.
It was just what I needed.
You know how when people are in the hospital and therapy animals come visit them and it actually helps? I felt like I had just had emergency friend and baby therapy. There was something about the no expectations, drop-in visit that was pure joy for me. She knew I might not be there, she knew I would be knee deep in my own mess, and that didn’t matter to her.
After Maria’s drop-in and the unexpected joy I felt from her visit, I made it a point to drop in on someone else – and and the timing of that drop-in was surprising, needed, and something the old, pre-Maria’s-drop-in me wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing.
Last month after we closed on our house, we missed a surprise drop-in and still, the very thought that Donna and Hannah drove almost an hour to surprise us almost brings me to tears. We weren’t home, the back door was locked, and the dog door that leads to our back porch was open. Donna even made a video of Hannah crawling through the dog door so they could safely leave gifts of bread, a bottle of wine and flowers out of reach of the critters.
The drop-in is surprising.
The drop-in is risky.
The drop-in is lovely.
Let’s not let the drop-in become extinct.
When’s the last time you were the drop-inee or drop-iner? Was it worth it?