Our Noble Pursuits

Living the good life. And writing about it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You've Got a Friend...

It's been a busy week around here...but then again, aren't they all in some way or another?  David and I took Annie for her first ever visit to his hometown of Ft. Wayne, Indiana last weekend.  Baby girl handled the trip pretty well.  She slept for half of the ride, both on the way up and on the way back.  And on the trip home, when I had the pleasure of sharing the backseat with her, she spent a good 45 minutes just staring at me.  It might sound creepy, but it was really cool.  Cheesy as it may sound, I felt like we were really having a moment – or 45 of them – there.  I felt like she actually knew I was her mommy…not just some lady who hangs around a lot.
I mean, seriously, look at that face!

While we were in Ft. Wayne, my mother-in-law made a comment that really made me think.  I don't remember what prompted it or the context for the rest of the conversation, but at one point she remarked that I have a really great group of girlfriends.  Now, she lives 300 miles away from us and doesn’t see me interact with my friends all that often.  Yet, she has seen enough and heard enough from me to know that my friends are really pretty spectacular.  So I've been doing a lot of thinking about them ever since.

Love book clubbin' with these girls.
I still have friends in my life today who grew up with me in a small Kentucky town wedged between the mountains and the "bluegrass."  Friends who knew me when I was that little girl who cried every single day in school (those stupid mean boys simply would not leave me alone at recess!) and played with Barbie dolls like it was my job. Friends who caused me pre-teen anxiety with their prank phone calls and Truth or Dare games (yes, even then I was wound a tad bit tight).  Friends who made mix tapes for me and rode with me to Prom.  Dear friends from my hometown who stood up for me through injustices and held my hand through breakups.  Women who were with me when I was starting to learn who I am and who I want to be…and were learning about themselves all the while.  And though the years have changed our circumstances - given us families and careers and ambitions that we may not have anticipated, when we see each other now it is as if we never left that small town where we started dreaming big.
Got to love those bows!
I still have sweet friends in my life from college who wore just as much flannel as I used to, ate just as many personal pan pizzas from the Raven Haven (for those non-AU folks, that was the student center), and made fools out of themselves along with me during Rush week.  Dear, wonderful women who laughed with me in the silliest times and endured challenges with me that weren’t so funny.  And although I don’t see them nearly as much as I would like, I know that if I needed them they would be here for me in a heartbeat.  Nothing proved that to me more than walking into the church for my dad’s funeral service a year and a half ago and seeing the faces of three of my college roommates there – supporting me in a terrible time, loving me despite the time and miles that separate us now.

And I am blessed beyond words by an amazing group of friends here in Lexington.  Friends I made as an "adult."  Relationships that began as work acquaintances or graduate and law school classmates and blossomed into the kind of lifelong connections that book clubs read about.  These women have been there for me in the rough times (for they were at that funeral too) and celebrated my marriage and the birth of my daughter with me.   Some of them are even walking with me through this crazy, emotional, amazing process of parenthood as they, too, start their own families.  They understand me and inspire me to do more, be more.
Love road-trippin' with these girls.
And lawyerin' with this one.
And baby-raisin' with these girls.
I don’t know how I got so lucky.  But I hope Annie knows these same blessings someday.  Because there’s really nothing like a good girlfriend, whether your six, sixteen, or thirty-five (am I really that old?).  And I thank each and every one of mine for the role she has played in making me better, stronger, and wiser over the 20 years or 20 months that we’ve known each other.  For taking trips with me, reading books with me, raising babies with me, and watching trashy reality TV with me.  For supporting me when I came up with the madcap idea to go to law school at the age of 29…because they knew that’s what I was meant for.  For celebrating with me without reservation when I decided to marry a man I had been dating for only a few months…because they knew, like I did, that he was perfect for me.   For being a loving group of honorary aunts to my daughter – and already showing her what beauty, grace, and honor really are.  For being there.  For showing up.  For making a mark.  Because my mother-in-law is right – I really do have a great group of girlfriends.

In other news, it is fall in the Bluegrass!  And I am itching to go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard.  Something about having a little member of the family now if making me really want to soak up everything the season has to offer.  I realize that Annie is way too young to get much out of apple picking or selecting the perfect jack-o-lantern sized pumpkin, but I want to take her to do those things anyway.  I guess at this point it is more for me than for her, but I get excited thinking about building those kinds of memories for her some day.  And there's no time like the present to start, right?

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