Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Girls

Truth be told, I'm an introvert. I re-charge my batteries best when I'm on my own and there is peace and quiet surrounding me. Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love the people in my life. However, it always seems as if I'm looking for that excuse to just have a few minutes to myself. Alone. Quiet. Peaceful. I don't mind the silence - I crave it. And, if something stressful happens, my very best friends would tell you that I retreat into my own little world and they have to pull me out of my little cocoon to talk about it. Once I'm talking, I'm good. It's just that connecting with the outer world is too much for me sometimes. (of course my husband would probably tell you that I never stop talking....but, whatEVer!)

On my mind lately have been my truly wonderful friendships that sustain me. As I continue in this life, I realize more and more how very important it is to have GOOD girlfriends that you can count on. I have these friendships in so many ways and without using any names (but with pictures!) I want to describe my girls...

Family, of course, is so very important and I am truly blessed in this department. My sister is one of my best friends. We are more alike than we are different and that can be good and bad. But, as we've gotten older we've become closer and closer and I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. I can depend on her whenever I need someone in my corner and I know she feels the same about me. We just share that wavelength. Plus, she is great with my kids and they love her!

My sister-in-law is just like a sister to me and one of the hardest working and loving people that I know. She is so thoughtful and supportive and I just feel so lucky to have her as a part of my life. The only thing that would be better is if we lived in the same city - we have so many things in common and it would be wonderful to share our lives on a daily basis - maybe, one day...

My playgroup girls are next. I met these women in my Lamaze class before I had Drew. Most of us became stay at home moms and the friendships began. Nothing connects you like having a child (your first child) be the same age. To illustrate my introvert ways: We had a little party when the babies were six weeks old so we could finally meet each other's babies. Drew was terrible in the car at this age (the party was across town) and we were so stressed with adjusting to life with a new baby that I told Matt I couldn't handle going to the party.
See, I just retreat into my own little world.
Thankfully, a few months later I joined in on a playgroup and I was hooked immediately. We are all so different but have such a strong link that we get along amazingly - going on four years now! We used to see each other on a weekly basis, but with all the kids in school it is few and far between these days. Whenever we get together though we have a blast and the kids love each other. And we all know we are there for each other when needed.

There are girls who now live far away and our lives have become more separate because of the distance. One, in particular, is still a wonderful friend even though we don't talk as often as we would like. We were roommates in college and there is nobody who can make me laugh like she can. And, there is no comparison to the thoughtfulness and compassion and empathy she has brought into my life. She is one of the best listeners I have ever met, and she is a friend in the truest sense of the word. I miss her so much and I really wish we could live closer. Our husbands are great friends and the four of us recently spent the day together and had SO MUCH FUN! I miss having her in my daily life.

My scrapbook girls - the treasures of my heart, these women are. I get alot done when I scrapbook by myself, but I have so much more fun when I scrapbook with my girls. Our leader is the most optimistic and positive person you would ever meet. She is gifted with generosity and overflowing with love and you can't help but be happy in her presence - and her life is filled with trials, believe you me. You would never know it though - she is that full of joy.

My most constant scrapbooking girl is actually a former teacher of mine. What can you say about the one person who inspired you to choose the career that you did? This woman was a HUGE influence on my life as a young adult and she is now a much-loved friend that I cannot imagine my life without. She has touched the lives of countless people with her faith and acceptance and wisdom and love. I, of course, am one of her very favorites. We all spent a recent 3-day weekend together scrapbooking with lots of other ladies and that is when I first began thinking about this post. I was working through some issues and began to tell the ladies around me (including the above ladies) what had been weighing on my mind. Before I knew it, they had all put down the stickers and photos and they were just listening to me - fully. I felt so loved and understood in only the way that good girlfriends can make you feel. I was just so grateful to have friends who cared about my world so much. It makes such a difference.

And then there is my scrapbooking girl who is the greatest Christian influence in my life. We have such a blast when we are together - no matter what we are doing. But, there are also these fantastic quiet times when I am able to seek her advice and guidance in a biblical sense. She is a light shining for Jesus in this world and it makes such an impact on my life. Our kids love each other and our husbands are good friends - it has all the makings for a lifelong friendship that I am so grateful to have.

And, I've saved a very special group of girls for last - the girls I've known the longest (and who still put up with me!) There are four of us and these are truly my girls. I am so fantastically lucky to have these girls who I've known for practically my whole life. We were best friends in high school and we are best friends today. We have a regular girl's night out and we have play dates with our multitude of children - with two more babies on the way! One of them is the one who was always there for me with "boy problems" in high school and we shared more secrets over a dessert called death by chocolate than I would ever care to admit. One of them is that one person who knows the best when I need to be pulled out of my little cave to talk about things that are stressing me out. She was there for me recently in a HUGE way that I will never, ever forget. She is a rock for me, truly. And, finally, there is the one I have been best friends with since I was five years old. We have been through it all together and she is the very best friend I have ever had. She is a generous person - beyond belief, and she has a huge heart. The sheer number of experiences that I can retrieve from old memories make me teary at how much we have shared of each other's lives. Oh, these girls are so nice to still love me. We were inseparable in high school and then all ended up at the same college. They stayed close, but I drifted away. Not on purpose, it just kind of happened. We all live close now, and they accepted me back into the group without a thought or judgement. It has been like this for years now. Watching each other's children grown and sharing secrets that only girls can during a night out. We've been there for the highs and the lows and we aren't going anywhere for a long time.

If you are still here with me at the end of this sappy post then I thank you for sharing in my celebration of my girlfriends. I could not be sane without these women in my life, and I want each of them to know how very much they mean to me.

Rock on, Sisters!!


Xan said...

Amy I love you too! This year I have come to realize that I am so fortunate for the women in my life. Recently I read a book called "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids" and in this book I came across a wonderful quote. "More than money, more than power, even more than sex, living close to our dearest friends and being able to barge in and drop off the kids without asking first--knowing full well that when it's needed in return, the same will be asked of us--is something we've heard moms desperately crave." I can't imagine how I would have survived the last four years without the wonderful women in my life. I know we don't talk as much as we could considering how close we are...its not the physical distance...its the job thing that keep us from having the time. But you must know that if you ever needed to barge in and drop your kids off I would be here!

Dawn G. said...

I think you're a grand friend.