Three years ago tonight, we met to paint and drink wine and talk…

…about two months after Joey was born and two months before my mom died.

In the midst of a whirlwind.

I don’t know how many of you still have close, “could call them at 2:00 in the morning if you needed something” friends from high school, but these guys are mine. I don’t see them very often and I never call for the hell of it and I usually screw up our group texts and I’m always the last one to show up to dinner with an excuse (that may be the real reason why I had five kids)…but I know they’re there.

I wrote them all a long overdue thank-you email last week. It was for them, certainly, but just as much for me. Somehow saying in writing, “Hey, the last six-ish years were a pretty dysfunctional mix of good and really crappy and you all listened and gave advice and called me out when I wasn’t making sense (which was more often than not) and gave me hugs and beer and lots of coffee and bigger hugs and I would have been lost without all of it so thanks” validated every reason my head has been on spin-cycle since Hutton was born. 

It made me look past the amount of time we’re able to spend together and realize that what we get out of our quarterly “let’s meet at a restaurant and order food and drinks and talk and laugh and say, ‘OK, sorry, we got distracted, finish your story (insert name here)’ over each other for three hours” keeps me going in the same way seeing each other every day for years got me through 8 to 18. 

And kept me going when I wasn’t sure I could or really wanted to. 

Look, my advice should be taken with a boulder-sized grain of salt. I have multiple kids who still crawl into our bed every night and a 3-year-old who smacks me with a gallon of milk and a bottle at 1:00 a.m. and I’ve managed to wear something other than a t-shirt and jeans once this month. 

BUT if you have friends who fall into that category, who know your history (like, “I remember when you dated so-and-so” and “I remember when you wore socks with Birkenstocks” and, most importantly in my world, “I remember when your mom…” kind of history), acknowledge it. Tell them what they mean to you. Make them laugh and cry. 

And just say, “Thanks.”

  

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