Saturday, March 12, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

I am having a crazy busy but fun week. But wait, that could probably describe every week of my life. Because with 4 kids, how can life not be crazy busy and fun every single day?

I had coffee with a friend one day, which was fun because I got to talk to a grown up, but also because I got to chase Mathilda around Starbucks while half the people in there gave me dirty looks and the other half thought it was cute that she was running from me while looking over her shoulder and laughing at me. Another day I had lunch with a friend, which was fun because I got to eat a meal and talk to a grown up without any of my children present. I also had a fantastic hour and a half long walk and talk with yet another friend, which was fantastic until my hand and arm started going numb and then my chiropractor told me the next day I shouldn't do that anymore. I worked in Lucy's preschool class, which is always fun because I get to hang out with my kid and a whole bunch of other sweet preschoolers. I hosted a preschool board meeting at my house, which involved lots of cleaning and shuffling children around, but was also fun because I enjoy spending time with the preschool ladies. I went to parent teacher conferences for Bethany and Connor, which were both great. I read a good book, The Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel, which I also wrote a review on that will soon be published on Mathilda and I did some more shopping at Macy's, where I bought $138 worth of clothes for $23. For myself! Tomorrow night Chris and I are going out, just the two of us. Overnight!

Those are the highlights I can think of at the moment. Well there are lots of others too. Like rainy Wednesday, when Lucy walked outside and said, "boy this sure is a lovely day" without one ounce of sarcasm. And Mathilda falling asleep last night while I read to her and Lucy - a first! (the falling asleep part, not the reading part) Like getting an email from Connor's teacher letting me know that several of the grades on his report card were wrong - the real grades are better. Like Bethany and Connor making their own lunches Thursday morning, without being asked, even though it was a half day (they had forgotten, but they had lunches ready to eat when they got home from school). Like convincing Chris we should go to IKEA soon because I think we finally figured out where I can have a sewing area but we need some stuff to facilitate our plans (might not seem like a big deal, but IKEA is Chris's nemesis. seriously).

So back to that book, The Atlas of Love. I won't give away too much, but it's a story about friendship that has really had me thinking about friends this week. I am blessed to have some wonderful friends who are supportive and generous and fun and loyal. Making friends is not easy for me. It just isn't . I'm not an open book. I'm quiet, very quiet, around people I don't know well. Not everyone is patient enough to get to know me. It's hard for me to be comfortable enough to open up and let down my guard. I'm doing slightly better nowadays, but I missed out on lots of opportunity for friendship in college, which is when the book takes place. I don't think I made a single friend in college. Not one. So reading about college friends who made a commitment to raise a child together made me nostalgic for a time that never existed for me. Not that I didn't have any good times in college...I just never met anyone during that period of my life who would have happily and lovingly stepped up to help me raise my baby, had I become pregnant during that time, which of course I didn't. I didn't let anyone get to know me well enough to care enough about me to be willing to make sacrifices for me. I was on lock down for a long time, and I'm not sure why. Sometimes I feel like the lone introvert in a world of extroverts. Spending time with friends does makes life richer and fuller and generally more worthwhile all the way around. For awhile I kind of forgot that, but I'm glad I've remembered now. Maybe this is just a super long-winded way of saying I love my friends. Thank you for all the wonderful ways you complement my life.

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