I miss by dear friend in Chicago. We talk at least once a week, often more. We have been friends for something like 17 years. There are times when I wish she was still 2 miles away and I could pop over for a cup of coffee and an understanding ear to talk to. She always gets me. She gets me when I was 24 and just figuring things out. It was she after all who put me on my drinking plan so I could enjoy more than one glass of wine at my wedding. Oh the fun that was had while I was on my alcohol plan! She gets me now that I want backyard chickens and am mostly vegetarian. I always start out by staying “let me tell you something....don’t laugh”. And she never does.
Women need friends like this in their lives. Whether that friend is a sister or sister in law, a neighbor, co-worker or someone you met pushing your toddler on the swing, we need people who get us for who we are, even though that who we are may be constantly morphing into who we want to be.
I know that I am blessed. I have great friendships. I have the kind of friends that if I picked up the phone and said “come I need you” I would not have to say anymore and they would be on their way, from either the next town over or hundreds of miles away.
My girls are growing up. As I watch their friendships grow, change, mature, deepen and sometimes fade, I am reminded of what friendship means. Just like Michele, who has been my friend through lots of mama drama, they will find their friends who will be besties, who will be casual acquaintances, and those who they may like very much but do not return their affections. Growing up can suck at times. It can be hard and there can be tears. Growing up never really ends does it? I feel like I have grown as much over the last five years as I did in my first five. Not everyone understands the direction I am growing in and part of my personal growth is accepting this. Not everyone has to.
This is true for my girls as well. As they grow into the young women they want to be and as new interests, new passions and new connections are made, they will remain close to some friends. Other friendships will change and become less intense. New friendships will be made. Tears will be shed. Happiness will move in to replace the hurt. Through it all I will hug and comfort. Encourage and support them as they find their way. Hold their hand as they reach out and offer a bit of themselves to a friends. I will wipe away the tears if their offer is rejected.
I have two girls. Michele has two boys. We always joke that we want to be in-laws some day. Lord have mercy on our children. Friends. It is one of the best parts of being a woman. It is one of the hardest parts of being a woman.