"Friendship is when people know all about you and like you anyway." Anon
The last week has been an incredible reminder about the importance of friends. I had the pleasure of going to see my daughter for visiting day at sleep away camp. She is not yet 10 and this was her first summer there. When we saw her for the first time in three weeks, what struck me was not just how happy she was, but how at home. It was as if she had always spent the summer there. She knew everyone and could not wait to introduce us to her friends, counselors, staff etc. She was so completely infatuated, happy and spirited. There were a few girls she had made contact with before she left as a way to feel less nervous. As I saw them all together and watched them with their parents, I was struck by how quickly you become incredibly close when you live with others 24 hours a day. So much of what they talked about was "we" not "I." Their adventures had been as a team, supporting one another, consoling, laughing, each experiencing each others joy. They have been home less than 12 hours and I have already received text from several of the mothers about how much the girls already miss each other. How close they had become and how soon could they see each other again? My daughter is lucky enough to have many close friends from home and now these sisters are added to the web of her world. She is blessed.
I too am blessed. When I love someone I do so with all of me and anything less feels impossible. I am this way with my close friends. They are from so many parts of my life. Childhood, college, work, through our children or our neighborhood. They live around the corner and around the country. There are some I talk to 10 times a day and others I might speak to every once in a blue moon. But if you are my friend, you know it. Some friends have been with me through the highest and lowest points of my life and I with them. There are even some friends who if I called in the middle of the night and said I needed them, would get in the car first and ask "why?" second.
These are the friends who know my bright shiny parts and my dark and twisty ones and love me anyway. These are the friends who have held my hands, my hair and my heart and never walked away. These are the friends who bless me with their wit, wisdom, truth and pain and together we move forward in our lives. We have likely fought at times, argued, cried and slammed doors. But when our dust settled the only answer was to come back together and try harder because we were worth it.
When you are the mother of two daughters, you spend a lot of time seeing how mean and cruel girls can be to each other, how awful boys can be to girls as well. You want to lock them up in a tower through high school to shield them from the pain and torture of navigating friendship and love. The only solace you have, is looking at your own friends and knowing that you would never have survived any of it without them. Knowing that your children will also figure out how to tell the gems from the fools gold and hold them close. You will warn them about being a good friend. That the only way to have good friends is to be one.
Then there will be the nights you spend with friends where all of the craziness fades away and you speak from your core, from your soul. You know now as an adult that there is trust and fierceness to those friendships and everything is understood without words. At those times, I try to remind myself that not everyone is so lucky, so blessed or so loved.