To the women who motivate me, encourage me, pushed me out of my comfort zone and beyond, who have shaped me into the daughter, wife, friend, mother, and woman I am today, I say thank you. This is for you.
As I come into my last trimester of my last pregnancy with my last baby, I can’t help but reflect on those times we spent together. First, spending them curled up in each other’s basements playing “Light as a Feather” watching our favorite late night shows and painting our nails, and then- as we grew- driving around our hometown listening to Yellowcard on a Saturday night, waiting for those boys to tell us who was having a house party that night, and then- before husbands and babies- spending burning nights downtown with those same boys, laughing and drinking until 4 a.m. and still feeling invincible the midst of a hangover the next day. Such different moments in life, but each one giving us something intangible and special to hold onto.
I remember so much of those times. Do you?
I remember feeling like I could walk through any fire, as long as I had you all by my side. As long as I had my friends, my tribe, anything could be conquered. You helped me heal, even if you didn’t know it, after some of the traumatic moments of my life. Each moment was a step towards the life we are living now, even if we didn’t see it then.
As we each met and fell in love with the men who would eventually become our partners and the fathers of our children, we took steps away from each other. We slowly let go of each others’ hands. We drifted apart- not intentionally or maliciously, but the way people do when their lives begin a new season. I know there was sadness- there still is, I think- about missing those weekends in the city, missing birthdays, missing each other.
But there is something sacred about those friendships you forge with the women who remember you when you didn’t know how to do your hair or who were peeling you off the floor when that boy you thought was your prince turns out to be nothing more than a frog in disguise. There is something sacred about those friendships that morph from “what we are doing this weekend?” to “no one told me marriage was this hard” to “when did your baby start sleeping through the night because I AM EXHAUSTED.”
Life as We Know It
We don’t talk everyday anymore. We don’t see each other every weekend– heck, we go months without seeing each other. Life as we knew it back then has changed dramatically. But every time I feel my daughter kick, I say a tiny prayer that she will find a tribe of friends like you. Friends, women, who will challenge and encourage her, who will call her out when she’s wrong, or who will tell her how awesome and smart and beautiful she is.
Our lives now are hard and exhausting, and a big, giant balancing act. We teeter on the edge of feeling like we are killing it and feeling like a huge failure. I know though, that if I stumble or need some encouraging words, some of my strongest support is simply a phone call away. Our stumbles may not be in 3-inch heels anymore, but I know you’ll catch me regardless.
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