It’s an overcast day, and rain is threatening to spill over when I arrive at her house. I have three kids in tow, and we scoot through her door. Within the first five minutes of our visit there’s a baby on the floor between us, and the four older kids are down the hall transforming pillows and cushions into the fortresses that come alive inside the mind of a child. And we’re sharing tidbits of broken conversation and engaged hearts, littered by the frequent interruptions of five children aged five years and under.
Mugs in hand, we laugh at the comedy, the hardship, the privilege of motherhood. And fragmented as it is, this conversation is rich; these words are real; this friendship is tangible.
We’ve known each other for 13 years now, this friend and I. We’ve shared a collegiate experience, positions in publishing, deadline-driven nights and the stress of magazine production, but none of it compares to the bond we now share as mothers.
She’s my take-me-as-I-am, never-pass-an-ounce-of-judgment friend. The one who leaves me a little more encouraged, a little more energized. Her artistry inspires me, and she encourages my creativity. Through the past decade we’ve seen each other through laughter and loss, job transitions and house relocations and through the magnificent and the mundane.
The rain stops, I gather my three, and we all walk outside. We chat on the porch, commenting on things like boxwood basil and gardens with pea gravel paths. The older kids run to the sidewalk and pick up sticks, as if they’re literally building the foundations of their own friendships. The sun stretches long and naps are ruined, but hearts were encouraged and laughter was shared. And really, that’s the stuff that matters in friendship: the unmasking, the filling up, the encouraging. So thankful for a visit and a friend who does just that for me. Love you, Kat!
It is a goal of mine to be more intentional about writing letters this year, telling the people I care about just how much I appreciate them. I won’t always share them on this space; sometimes, in an effort to maintain a dying art, I’ll be writing real postage-required letters with ink on paper. But whenever I do pen some sentiments, I’m going to be sharing a glance at them on Instagram. If you’d like to join me (please do, I’d love to have you!), snap a pic of your letters and share on Instagram with the hashtag #letteredthoughts.