So. I am giving myself fifteen minutes tops. Fifteen minutes to sit here at the little white desk in my bedroom and write about the day. Because it has been a really good day. A day that began with words, words that were hard and true and imbued with an importance I don't yet grasp. And then the rest of the day was filled with friends - new friends, old friends, their friends, my friends, real friends, virtureal friends (read: you).
I read a quote recently. It was Barbara Kingsolver and she said, "The friend who holds your hand and says he wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away." And this struck me so deeply because isn't friendship about contact, about connection, about conversations that are easy and breezy and messy and difficult? I think for a long time I was a very careful person, aiming for some kind of external perfection, seeking standard-issue gold stars and praise. I think I was afraid of saying the wrong thing.
And now. I realize something. I realize that sometimes it is really just about the saying, the labeling of thoughts and emotions and convictions. It is about daring to utter things about ourselves - or others - that might not be received well, or understood perfectly. It is about ending the hiding and starting the seeking. It is about doing and not waiting.
This morning, I had coffee with a wonderful Kindergarten mom and we talked about her life and her business and my life and my stuff and we just sat there and sipped our coffee and the words and ideas and smiles were endless. But here is the thing: there were no walls. There were no pretenses. In the hour-plus we sat there we were able to be honest about things that have been hard for us. It was genuine and real and beautiful.
And then. My baby had her visit to the preschool we hope she will attend in the fall. And she played in the Garden Room where her sister spent her first year and she got messy in the sand and played with blocks and sat on that rainbow carpet for a song with her future friends... All the while, I talked with a woman I'd never met, a mom. She used to be a banker and now she teaches yoga and we had so much to talk about and we learned that our little girls were born days apart.
And then. Big Girl had her sweet little friend over for a play date at our place. And in the cab home, this girl's mom, a woman whom I've written about here before held her girl on her lap and I cuddled mine and we whisked through the park and the girls opened the windows to let the near-winter wind in. And there were candy canes and giggles and then my girl's friend said something, "Never say never because you never know." Oh how I lit up when I heard this bit of wisdom. From a six-year-old.
And, once home, our girls drew dinosaurs and we all munched on Christmas cookies and this mom and I talked and talked. About our stories, about juggling motherhood with careers, about this city we both love. I didn't say it to this mom, of course not, but I thought it a few times as we chatted: She is a new friend. Already a good friend.
It is this friend who pulled a card out of her bag at pickup the other day. A card with words from E.B. White. I included a picture of the card above. She handed it to me and said, I saw it and it made me think of you. And I couldn't get over this because I adore E.B. White and he is a part of the novel I am writing and Dad read me Charlotte's Web as a girl...
Anyway. On this Wednesday evening in December, I am thinking about the profound and ineffable value of friends, how lucky it is to collide with thoughtful and real people in the online and real world. People who are not interested in the dance of perfection (as I once was), but eager for realness and story and saying and wonder.
This is a ramble and I know that but this is real and that is suddenly, exquisitely, all that matters. And this took more than fifteen minutes, but that's okay too.
Thoughts on friendship? On unedited rambling online?