Two of my best friends are coming to visit us this weekend and I’m so excited. The last time the three of us were together was last fall. Their visit just so happened to coincide with Seth’s 15-year high school reunion, so we spent our weekend together in a small town in western Iowa where they treat high school reunions and homecoming like Mardi Gras. I mean, who are we to complain? This weekend, we’ll spend our time in the city enjoying time with the boys, brunch with friends (and bottomless mimosas), sharing laughs and hugs, catching up and reminiscing.
These weekends and the weekends I get to get away to see my friends, like our recent trip to Denver, are always the best but each time it gets more difficult to deny the passing of time and even harder to say goodbye. Since we all first met as youthful college kids without a real care in the world, our lives have taken dramatic turns, our hearts have been broken time and time again, we’ve been thrown for loops and, at times, we’ve struggled to endure the ups and downs of adulthood and to understand the whys. We’ve survived the loss of parents, the birth of children and the vanishing act of what we believed was true love, betrayal by those we trusted most and we’ve had to learn the hard way that things aren’t always what they seem.
But despite all the miles and all the things, our friendships have endured and I’m never more grateful for all of them than when I’m preparing my house to host for a weekend. I’m the one with kids, so they spend their money and take their time to come to me and they never guilt me for it. They pick up the phone and call and when I don’t answer, they try again later and the next day and the day after that. They send reminders that we need to Facetime and ‘I miss you!’ texts when I’m least expecting anything of the sort because I still have ‘call [insert name here]!’ on my always-running to-do list. They make plans to stay the night when they’re driving through, they start email chains nearly a year in advance to ensure we can all make a football game together, they send cards, they send birthday and Christmas gifts for the boys, they treat Seth as if they’ve known him a decade, they check in on him and they include him like he’s family. AND NOW I’M CRYING.
Before Seth and the boys, I worked really hard on my friendships because they were everything to me. I planned trips and reunions, I spent the money and I traveled to see people I loved, I called and called again, I picked up when they called and I always strived to show up – showing up was my thing. And now showing up here when I can’t show up there is my friends’ thing and I don’t know how I got so lucky. I read somewhere recently that having a lot of great friends is more of a fantasy than a reality for many adult women, so it’s not lost on me that I’ve hit the jackpot. As I prepare for a weekend of warm hugs, old friends and new memories, I’m reminded of all the work and showing up I have yet to happily do, and I’ve never been so grateful to bear such an enormous workload.
Usually the boys are the ones counting down sleeps in our house but this week it’s all of us – especially me!