Sunday, August 15, 2010

Girlfriend

We all have that one. The one that saved our life. For some of us, it was in high school when we felt like the poster child for awkwardness. Others of us discovered her far earlier or far later, and I honestly don't know whether it's the same for guys, but we all have that friend.

Mine is "Peaches." She came in to my life right after Eve was born, before I knew I would need saving. Before I knew that those endless days stretched out before me would drive me right in to the looney bin. She showed up with her daughter and her endless optimism and her vast knowledge of local parks and her open-door policy and her bright, sunshiny love. She brought her imperfections without apology and her acceptance of mine without reservation.

Our burgeoning friendship felt warm and broken in from the start. Settling down with the perfect cup of tea (Peaches is from England and still makes the best cuppa I've ever had) to watch our babies and chat, I never felt awkward or unsure of how to say something. It was as though our newness as parents offered a buffer to any of the mistakes we might make in our new relationship as well.

The thing about a girlfriend like that is that you are still expected to have your own life, too. It isn't like a new romance where the intensity is so great that you exhaust each other by spending every waking minute together. Peaches and I still traveled with our husbands, took our kids to visit grandparents and had other friends, all of which gave us endless things to discuss when we were together. Over the years, we became so comfortable in each other's houses that our kids (by now, four of them - two mine and two hers) began calling us their two mothers and were often just as likely to come to either of us with a question or concern when we were all together.

Three years ago, Peaches and her family moved back to the UK, just as our daughters were about to turn seven years old. Seven years of growing up together, taking art classes and gymnastics together, sharing holiday dinners and having their first sleepovers at each other's houses had formed a bond that was difficult to stretch from here to England.

Three weeks ago, they came back for a visit. They stayed with us for a week and it turns out that the bonds held just fine. The kids played together from sunup to sundown and had a neverending sleepover. Peaches and I cooked together, parented together, folded each other's laundry and chatted for hours over cups of tea. Our friendship feels like that favorite book from your childhood that you go back and read throughout your life. Each time, you see it through a slightly different lens and learn something new, but it never fails to cheer you up and remind you why you fell for it in the first place. Time and distance haven't got anything on me, girlfriend!

7 comments:

Jill of All Trades said...

I love this. I miss that so much.

Wanda said...

Ahh...like my favorite pair of jean and most comfortable shoes.

Deb Shucka said...

You're so fortunate to have such a friend, and a friendship that's enduring time and distance. I love that you know what a blessing it is.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad Peaches and you remained close friends, despite time and distance. Friends are very precious, to have fun and a good time, and be a lifeline when needed. Some friendship will remain, some will disappear over time. A true girl friend will make you laugh and be here with her arms open when you need it, will support you with compassion and give advices when needed, whether you want to hear it or not, just because she cares. I am so happy for you that you have your very special friend.
-Isabelle

Carrie Link said...

I love this post! I love Peaches! I love friends like this! I love you!

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have a friend like this. So glad you had a wonderful visit.

xo

MO'N

Anonymous said...

How did I miss this?!! I can't tell you how wonderful it was to 'come home' and just be still with you. You allowed me to stop and just breathe and for that I will be forever in your debt. That is what you are to me, a place where I can completely relax. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best kind of always friend. Oh yes the kids were happy too! We can't wait to have you here and return the favour. All my love 'Peaches' xxx

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