02-28-18 Friendship

Today was the kind of day that you get to the end of, not with some grand victorious flourish, but rather you scrape and pull yourself along the ground, arms stretched forward, broken fingernails digging at the packed dirt, praying the next handful of grass will bring you to the end. That’s what today was, a tower of small failures that grew so high it was hard to see around.

When I got home tonight I went straight to my room and cried and cried. Today was hard. There was no ONE thing that made it so, but rather a successions of blows that weakened my resolve as the day went on. We’ve all been there, right? And by the time I got home tonight I was hurt, and I was angry.

And then I got a text from my sister in law. We had left Baby E’s bag at the church and she offered to drop if off on her way home. I’ve known my sister in law since we were in middle school. In high school we were inseparable. Few people in the world know me as well as she does. And when I saw her standing there, every frustration unraveled from my tongue. She wasn’t expecting the barrage of emotion I poured out on her tonight, but like a dear friend she patiently listened and helped me walk through it. All the anger and sadness that had taken a day to build up almost immediately dissolved into laughter and smiles.

Suddenly it didn’t seem so bad that I had paid $18 for my children to eat almost none of their dinner, only to listen to them beg for food a few hours later, and blame me for their hunger. It didn’t matter I actually used the phrase, “Fine, eat the piece of napkin in your mouth, but don’t you dare take another bite of it.” The fact that my two older children loudly and proudly blurted out uncomfortable family secrets to a complete stranger at our dinner table this evening didn’t seem quite so overwhelming. And maybe no one noticed me make a beeline to the bathroom with Baby E under my arm like a football, because by goodness I’m not dealing with wet toddler pants tonight. All these things and more seemed to melt away as I unloaded the tragedies of my day.

I might have left that backpack by mistake, but I don’t think my sister in law finding it was one. I needed that interaction. I needed to dissolve that frustration before it landed on my husband and kids, or before it followed me to a restless nights sleep. I needed that connection. I needed to talk to another mom that struggles like I do. I needed her to laugh with my stories, to help me see the ridiculous moments for what they are, and what they aren’t. I needed her to hear me and she did.

I’m grateful for the friendships that have weathered decades of life. I’m thankful that most of my closest friends in the world share my last name (or did at some point.) I’m blessed to be journeying through life with the one’s I love most. So while today was hard, tonight was actually quite sweet, and I’m grateful for that too!

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