Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Grown-up friends

When I make a friend, I assume it's for life. Of course, friendships change as life goes on. We grow up and move away. We walk down the aisle into a new life. We are hired for jobs. Babies are born. Babies become school-aged kids. Calendars get crowded.

But sometimes smart phones shrink distances and friendships get fresh air breathed into them. Perhaps it just takes a text of a picture of a picture of when we gathered all our kids together on a couch two years earlier to remind that it's been too long. At least that's what happened to me last week.

My husband had a Monday meeting near my childhood hometown that's three hours from my new hometown. Of course, "new" is relative; I've been here for a decade. I may not have been born where I live now but it's home.

So I texted Bekah and Shelley a picture of our kids sitting on a couch in December 2011. We were on a five-year streak of having brunch near Christmas, when Shelley and I were near where we all grew up. I loved it. Both of their husbands also childhood friends of mine. Greg is the only one of the six of us who didn't graduated in 1996 or 1997 from Oldham County High School.

We have a history that has helped us stay bonded, but we let each other into our present lives.

Shelley and I weren't in the Louisville area at the same time last Christmas and my family has holiday plans this year that will keep us from going there. In my text to them the other night when I was filling scrapbook pages with memories, I said I was bummed our tradition Christmas brunch wasn't going to happen again. It prompted text conversations with both them. Bekah casually mentioned letting we know when we'd be there. So I did, right then.

"We're actually coming Saturday night for a quick trip because Greg has to work up there Monday. We're going to the zoo on Sunday. Want to go? :) Do you work Monday morning?"

From there, we made a plan. The plan developed as Monday went along. My mom, my kids and I ended up meeting her for breakfast and then going to a playground that also has a spray park {who cares that it wasn't even 80 degrees yet?!}. Katie and her boys joined us there. More out-of-the-blue love happening much sooner than I expected.

Then we all met Greg for lunch. Yep, that's five adults and seven kids 7 and younger. We extended our plan to include a second park {the five boys really needed to run some more ...} after we finished our lunch.

We laughed. We swapped stories from our current lives. We reminisced and talked about the past intersecting the present. We talked about small towns and big plans. We talked about raising babies and being grown ups. We watched the two oldest of our bunch {and the only two girls} befriend each other because when you're 7 and 6 a couple years is enough time to erase the earlier memories of playing once or twice a year. We watched our boys be boys.

So, yes, that's a picture of our kids, who became friends all over again while enjoying a beautiful summer day in Kentucky. But that's not all. That's a snapshot of a continuation of a history God began long ago when us mommas were just kids ourselves. I'm not sure there are many better grown-up moments than watching my kids play with my childhood friends' kids. It's a new chapter in an ongoing story that is certainly worth living.


I'm linking this story up with Crystal Stine's Behind the Scenes and Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory. Both are places where true encouragement happens. Like me, they believe telling stories is therapeutic. 

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