Posted by: Ingrid | July 9, 2014

My Heart is Full, My Calendar is Blank

Here’s the thing about friendship.  You can plan how to make friends.  You can try to figure out who you want to be friends with.  But in the end, friendship, good solid friendship ends up being something of a delightful surprise, unfurling slowly until you look back and can’t imagine day-to-day life without that person.

My first few years in Michigan I was getting to know people and by the end of two years was fairly confident of who I would be friends with.  One person in particular, was someone I really enjoyed hanging out with.  You can imagine my dismay then, when one of her friends, an interloper, showed up a few times when I was visiting my friend.  Inwardly I fumed.  The audacity!  How dare she cut into my time with friend X?  The nerve.

But then, this interloper and I, both pregnant at the same time, started hanging out.  When two women are miserably pregnant it is nice to be able to sit down and talk through the details while your two toddlers fling trains and blocks at one another in a different room.  Three years later, and I can say, hands down, that this woman is not only a dear and loyal friend but is also funny and sometimes sarcastic to boot.  And I really don’t know that I could be good friends with someone who didn’t do sarcasm (Oddly enough, that sounds like it should be sarcastic, but it’s not.  I am serious.)

I am so used to looking ahead to the next week and calling or texting to try to get something; a play date, park trip, sanity break, on the calendar, but now, when I look ahead to next week, our calendar is blank.  For three years we have played at parks, at each others houses, gardened together, been miserably pregnant (again) together, done cooking and canning projects, gone to the zoo, and allowed our children to wreak havoc on our local McDonald’s play place.

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Having friends when you have kids is tricky.  I have learned already that there are people I would love to hang out with, but if our kids’ personalities or ages don’t mesh, it’s not going to happen.  I have appreciated so much, while raising little children who do not do things I like sometimes or act in ways I approve of, having a steady friend who is there and who still makes time to be with us.  Aside from that, I also appreciate:

-A mutual agreement that coffee is always available to the visiting friend, because coffee is always a necessity.  Coffee, graham crackers, and bananas are all fair game.

-Knowing that either of us can send texts at the witching hour before dinner with some variation of: “If my husband is a minute late coming home, none of my children will be allowed to survive.” and the other will completely understand but not take it seriously because the frustrations of motherhood MUST come with some hyperbole.

-Knowing that the “where is my child going to school” question can be hashed out for two years without coming to an actual conclusion but that the “denim skirt” factor will always be thrown in, just for fun.

-The ability to hang out for several hours without completing a single thought, and often, a single sentence.

-Knowing that usually one of us will be stuck at home because we have bread rising so the playdate has to come to our house.

-Not thinking that the other person is weird for shopping at the Amish store, making bread or yogurt or most things but also not judging when we buy our kids scary chicken nuggets from McDonalds.

-Knowing that you can laugh about funny things, laugh about hard things, and be laughed at, whenever necessary.

And a truly stellar friend will not only agree to come eat tongue tacos at your house with their entire family, they will come even after you post pictures like this on social media.

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I will miss you, my crazy “I want to raise chickens when I’m about to give birth”, gardening, canning, piano playing, conscientious, snow loving, friend.  Take heart, Colorado is only a 17 hour drive.  In the minivan!  With three small children!

Also, you have my vote as “Most Likely to Succeed in Organic Gardening and Chicken Raising while Living in Antarctica”. 🙂

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Responses

  1. I enjoyed this entire entry, especially the comment about not judging each other for allowing respective children to consume the “chicken” nuggets at McDonalds. 🙂


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