“Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends.”
– Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
I’m a fan of men; after all, I am raising three little ones. Men are awesome. But women — women are essential to me. It is true that without my girlfriends, I just wouldn’t make it. I am blessed with good, true friends, near and far, who quite literally keep me from losing my ever-loving mind some days. Other days, they are the ones who tell me that I have lost it, and who pull me back to myself. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have my friends on the other end of the phone, the text message, or the table telling me that they see me, they hear me, and they understand, no matter how crazed and irrational I might be at the moment from the daily chaos that is my so-called life.
But that doesn’t mean that the course of my friendships always runs smooth. Women are complex, layered, wonderful, and nuanced, and sometimes, they are difficult — and that of course includes me. I have had horrible, gut-wrenching arguments with friends. I have lost friends. I have ended friendships. I have been dumped as a friend, sometimes for reasons I understood, and sometimes for reasons I did not. Friendship takes work, commitment, and a whole lot of patience and tolerance and forgiveness, and there are seasons in our lives when we have those qualities in abundance and then others when we do not. But one thing I know for sure: women, and their friendship, are worth it. When I am with my friends, it’s as if my lungs can fully inflate — as if I am breathing pure oxygen. Especially since I became a mother, I appreciate my own little Red Tent, my collection of people that love me even though they don’t have to. [Read more...]