One of my favorite topics to discuss or read about in a novel or see in a movie is female friendships. As one of those female friends told me years ago (Natalie??), "Keri, you are a chick flick." Busted. But that's fine by me. I give most of the credit to St. Vincent's academy, where, if you couldn't get along with girls, well, tough luck. I consider that education (that all-girls Catholic) education, among the top 5 gifts in my life. My parents scrimped and worked extra jobs and made friends with Sr. Gilmary in the finance office so they could sometimes post date a check. And while at the time they thought they were giving me a faith-based, stellar academic education, they really gave me skills for what would be a lifetime of rich, rich relationships with other women. (I'll happily substitute that for the slightly sub-par chemistry education :) I have since returned to SVA and spoken to the students about many topics and I always incorporate the need to find at least one good friend out of the 400 women they will spend 4 years with. To this day when I hear a young woman say "I'm better friends with guys" I am a little sad for what they are missing out on and the experiences that led them to that place.
Anyhow, highschool brought me some lifelong friendships and those blessings continued to college. ADPi brought me the best friends money could buy :), though I sincerely believe those women would have bombarded my life even without the ole blue and white. Those ladies too have given me more blessings than I can say without ruining my computer with tears.
While after college most of my friends went on to re-create these great female-blessed lives, I kind of stayed in neutral. I had a few fabulous ladies in my life and would never diminish these post-college girls but things like serious boyfriends, stressful jobs and constantly changing lives start to take a toll. I watched my other friends re-create these awesome communities of women around them and I missed that- the community.
Fast forward to now. In what was a crazy (have I mentioned this transition to mommy-hood has been difficult? don't think I have ;) change in my life, I one day decided to crash a Mothers of Preschoolers meeting. I didn't know to register so in I walked with my baby wrapped on me and sat a table assigned to bring breakfast. No breakfast in tow, no warning that I was coming but these ladies opened their arms (and offered their hashbrown casserole). One of the first ladies I met was a former ADPi president, mother of a little-girl around Mk's age, all around fabulous and also Catholic (only interesting because we were at a protestant church). Love how the holy spirit works. Things haven't been the same since. And I haven't stopped thanking God since either.
Today at chick-fil-a, I was able to go to the bathroom and refill my tea with my child smiling at multiple other moms. I talked about my husband, my missing Grady, the arizona shootings, Herman Cain (yes Ross, be proud), crock-pot recipes, nap schedules, new years resolutions, schools and books (a nice blend of the mundane mommy life and the former semi-intellectual life I lead). It was refreshing and made me feel like this new life in the burbs with a baby isn't so much a twilight zone. As I have known for many years, there is a part of my heart that is so filled up by strong ladies and I am so happy and thankful for Cumberland Church MOPS who have brought that back into my life.
So to the girls in my life, past, present and future, thank you. There is a part of me that you fill with such richness and I love you all dearly. I look forward to many years of watching my girl find her own BFF's and pray already for the little girls who will one day, fill up that part of her heart too.
So, for nostalgia, and courtesy of facebook hijacking, some of those great girls over the years...
|just had to add this one- getting MK started early on the many joys of girlfriends! We love sweet Sadie girl.|