Jennifer is one of my best friends, happily married to her man, and mommy to three darling girls. She blogs over at ‘Miles To Go Before I Sleep’
and was so kind to oblige me when I asked if she would willing to guest blog while I’m on vacation. I am so grateful for her, although the following makes me sob. Ahem. 😉
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
Holly and I met four years ago, when my first baby was 6 weeks old and she had just recently discovered that she was carrying her own firstborn. My husband and I hosted a game night and Holly spent the entire evening cuddling my baby girl, falling in love with her while she dreamed of the day coming soon when she would hold her own precious child. Since I knew that my daughter was the most amazing baby ever born, Holly’s admiration of her won her an instant spot in my heart!
Shortly thereafter followed the first of only three phone calls that we have exchanged over our entire four years of friendship; I called under the pretext of seeing if her morning sickness was any better yet, but really was hoping to set up a visit – sure enough, she invited me to lunch, and I hung up happy! That lunch, during which we both cuddled and admired my baby girl while talking just as fast as we possibly could, was the beginning of a friendship that would become more precious than I could ever have imagined. It was what C.S. Lewis meant when he wrote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What, you too? I thought I was the only one!’” It was just kind of understood between us from that day on that we would be friends, and though neither of us can remember now if we ever really discussed it or planned it this way, it wasn’t long before we had a standing weekly coffee date. We’d take turns picking up each other’s favorite lattes and meeting at my house one week, her house the next.
One of those “you too?” moments that we had early on was the discovery that we both just hate talking on the phone. So we text…and text, and text, and text…! It’s a rare day that goes by without my phone happily announcing texts from Holly! It was by text that I told her when I discovered I was pregnant again much sooner than I expected to be, and she was there to convince me to be excited even though I was overwhelmed. She brought dinner for my husband when I was too sick to think of making food, let alone eating it. And then it was my turn to bring dinner to her, when her sweet little Landon made his arrival. Five months later my second daughter was born, and our coffee dates had turned into playdates and we were swimming in babies! I think we saved each other’s sanity more than once during those days of learning together how to be mommies, and how to keep our authentic selves intact under all the diapers and sleepless nights and baby milestones.
My husband and I moved that fall to just a few streets away from Holly and her husband, and then unbelievably, over the next year we each added another baby to the mix. Holly pretty much saved my life during that time, always there when I needed to fall apart from hormones and exhaustion and morning sickness. We traded meals when necessary, traded coffee frequently, and traded laughter and encouragement non-stop. With five little children between us, we spent countless hours talking and laughing over coffee, cuddling each other’s babies, pushing our huge double strollers around the neighborhood, and picnicking together in our back yards. She was my never ending source of encouragement, advice, and sympathy, and is an adopted auntie to my little girls. We raised and weaned our babies together, potty trained our toddlers, and now are bolstering each other’s nerves as we try to survive preschoolers!
Holly is more a soul sister to me than a friend. She’s one of those people who only come along once or twice in a lifetime, the one about whom all the cheesy quotes and poems are written. We talk until we’re hoarse, cry together without worrying about what we look like, and have inside jokes that stopped making sense years ago but still double us over with laughter. When my husband and I moved our little family almost two hours away last year, Holly and I grieved over the loss of the day-to-day friendship. I miss sharing all the little moments with her. And now that she and her husband are anticipating a move even farther away for their own family, we are grieving again. But even though we rely more on technology these days and less on coffee for our connections, nothing important has really changed. She is still just a text (not a phone call!) away, and as our children grow older and our adventures, both together and apart, take us down many different paths over the coming years, Holly will always make life brighter by walking through it with me, the sister of my heart.