Can I be blunt? We’ve gotten really lazy with friendship.
We’ve put friendship right at the bottom of our laundry pile along with the pants we haven’t seen since December. We’re almost always too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too behind, and too scheduled for anything else (and I get it, believe me, I do). Adult life feels like trying run on a slip and slide…until now.
Now we are in this gigantic pause. There are people who are still working their butts of at essential jobs, but the extras are canceled. Sports, meetings, parties, “busyness”: canceled.
I want to be a come-as-you-are-friend.
I want my friends to come as they are when we’re together. Rough day? Haven’t showered in a week? Going through something hard? Not feeling yourself? Perfect. Come as you are.
I want my friends to know they don’t ever have to censor themselves around me. You don’t ever have to say, “I hope this doesn’t sound bad, but…” Sound bad. It’s okay to sound bad around me. Come as you are.
I haven’t been myself this week. I’ve been more uptight and snappy than I should be. I asked you to be quieter when you were just laughing and having a good time. I sent you to the other room to wrestle even though I usually love it when you play. I got mad and yelled when you got in a fight instead of paying attention to what you needed and listening to your side of the story. .
I haven’t been myself, and I’m sorry. It’s been a weird week and it doesn’t have anything to do with you. Not a single bit of it is your fault. I let my stress get the best of me, and that’s the truth. I’m sorry.
To the moms with anxiety right now: I see you.
Hang in there my friend. I know you feel like you should be strong, but it’s okay if you’re not.
Deep breaths Mama, you’re not alone.
This anxiety will not consume you, I know it feels like it will sometimes, but it won’t.
Does anyone else get “holiday” anxiety? (This includes holidays, family days, birthdays, and anytime there is an expectation that the day is going to be important).
I don’t always get it, but when I do, I’m probably going to have to apologize later.
God: How do you think you’re doing as a mom?
Mom: Well I don’t play with my kids as much as I should. I get grumpy. Yesterday they ate pizza for the second time this week. I don’t really like cooking together or crafts, but I wish I did. Sometimes I do it anyway, but mostly I’m just trying not to get annoyed. My house is like one giant clothes and crumb explosion. I really should have them keep their rooms cleaner, but sometimes I just don’t want to pick another battle. I’m not really sure when the last time my second son bathed was. That’s probably not good. Yesterday I snapped over a cliff bar wrapper that no one was cleaning up. Sometimes I worry because they bicker a lot, like is that my fault? Did I do something wrong? At night I’m so tired I fall into the couch and watch shows and eat snacks until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. When I lay in bed I find myself wondering if they all are brushing their teeth well enough. I’m too hard on the oldest and too lenient with the youngest. I love our dinnertime discussions and I just can’t get enough of their laughs and the way they tell stories. Sometimes when they’re talking though I’m not really listening I’m worrying about something completely different, I think they can tell. I wonder all the time if I’m doing a good job and if they know how much I love them.
From the first time your eyes opened and I smelled your newborn skin, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wanted to sleep; I wanted my nipples to stop cracking and bleeding; I wanted to come out of the identity crisis I was having; but son, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wanted you to stay right there in the crook of my arm, nestled into my chest, sleeping skin to skin, with all the peace in the world covering us up in a blanket.
When you were a toddler throwing tantrums in your time out chair, playing in the toilet, and screaming in your carseat, I didn’t want you to grow up.
I wake them up in the morning and they stumble out of bed with puffy eyes and groans. We argue about where the shoes are and who had the brush last. They grumble about breakfast and how they don’t feel like school today. I pour coffee in to my cup before I say another word. I pull the little one out of bed as she cries and grabs at the sheets as I haul her into the living room. She makes little fists and let’s out a long howl while I pull her shirt over her head and try and distract her with questions about her day.
The oldest one gives me a minute by minute account letting me know he’s going to be late. He yells to his siblings to hurry up. I grit my teeth and tell him enough as I try and put socks on a chimpanzee who is hollering nooooooooooo.
Friendship that is like family doesn’t happen overnight. Jennifer Garner posted a quote the other day that said, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Friendship is just like that. It happens over days and weeks and years of constantly investing in someone and making time for them. It’s a thousand little decisions to show up and be an extraordinary friend.
My friend, if you are lonely, my best advice is to love yourself enough to be the kind of friend you’ve always wanted.
I spent some of my elementary years in a tiny mountain town. Everything was off the grid and our public school, homes, and grocery store ran on generators. We called our teachers by there first names and they weren’t just teachers, they were our mentors and friends. There were only 21 of us the first year I was there for grades K-8th.
We went kayaking sometimes for P.E. at the river that ran through our town. I’ll never forget the day we came walking back barefoot and soaking wet from the swimming hole to find men in suits waiting for us. My teacher came in after us dripping wet and hiding his surprise about having a meeting with insurance adjusters.