Getting old sucks. It’s not fair that a forty-five year old woman can get pimples, grow hair in places hair shouldn’t be, and has to basically starve herself to lose a pound. I hate it! But I have to admit, there is one thing about growing older I love, and that’s the relationships I’ve built with my girlfriends. It seems those relationships are only getting better with age, which makes getting more gray hair and wrinkles almost bearable. Almost.
Lucky for me, I’ve had the same best friend since I was five years old. She lived on the same street in the town we grew up in, just one house away from mine. Her dad was a cop named Rick, my dad was a cop named Rick. She had a younger brother, I had a younger sister. It was perfect, and it still is. We may not talk every day or every week. Even a month might go by and we forget to call or text, but the minute we see each other or talk on the telephone, it’s like no time has ever passed. We pick up right where we left off. She’s the godmother of my eldest son, and I’m the godmother of her son. We chat about our children, our husbands, how much we miss each other, and when we’re going to plan our next girl’s trip to Florida. We’ve never fought, and we’ve supported each other through the best and worst times of our lives. She’s more like a sister to me than a friend, and a cherish each and every moments we’ve shared.
I have two wonderful girlfriends who live near me and throughout the days, we text. Sometimes we text hundreds of times per day, and sometimes it’s just a few times per week. But we share almost everything. I’ll tell them what I had for breakfast, why I am frustrated about the stains on my living room couch, or how we are all going to plan one day during the week that we will get together and exercise (although that hasn’t happened yet). If I don’t hear from one of them on a particular day, I always text a few times, just to make sure she’s okay. When I’m feeling down, these ladies lift me up. If I have good news to share, they are two of the first people I tell.
The “Texting Ladies”, are part of a rotating group of fun, sweet, and loyal women I’m lucky to call my friends. We meet for tacos and margaritas on some “Taco Tuesdays” at one of our favorite restaurants. We make dates to spend Halloween together and watch our children run around neighborhoods trying to get as many pieces of candy they possibly can. We plan “play dates” (my children tell me that I shouldn’t call them that anymore), for our kids and drink coffee while they play basketball in my driveway.
Most importantly, we’ve got each other’s backs. I know that if I ever needed anything, all these women would be there for me. I don’t know that I could say that about friends I had in my twenties. Not that those friends were bad, but back then, weren’t we all a little scattered and self-absorbed? Growing older, we let a lot of our insecurities go, we don’t care as much about material things, we care more about the people in our lives who are important to us.
I have a friend who brings me chicken pot pie when I’m sick and who brought candy to my son when he was suffering from severe migraines. I have friends who support my extremely long process of becoming a “real” author, even though I’ve been writing one chapter book for over a year now. I have a friend who motivates me to eat healthy and exercise, but who will occasionally make me a key lime pie because she knows they are my favorite. She even told me it was “okay to eat a slice of that pie for breakfast as long as I add a little protein, too.” Now, THAT’S a friend.
I have a friend who loves Halloween just as much as I do, who is terrified of spiders, and who reads everything I write while being completely honest about how good or how bad it is. Most people don’t realize how valuable that can be, but I do. I couldn’t appreciate her more.
I have friends who have taught my sons in school and who have taken the time to really get to know them and bring out the very best in them. These amazing teacher friends of mine have gone above and beyond so many times for my kids and me, that I really can never repay them for all they’ve done for us.
Some of my loyal friends have joined the PTA because I asked them to, or chaired events because I’ve begged. They’ve worked tirelessly on projects with me, and quietly stood by while I received all the credit for the work because I just happened to be the PTA President at the time.
If I walk on the treadmill, my friends applaud me. If I finish a picture book, they read it, and they encourage me to write more. If I have a day that I don’t get out of my pajamas and I watch horror movies all day, my friends don’t judge. When I tell them I need botox and liposuction, they disagree, or they tell me they’ll go with me to see the plastic surgeon. And that’s a plus.
All I know is that I can’t live without these women in my life. They make growing older less painful and more fun. There are things we can share that I can’t share with anyone else. They understand my weirdness, and they love me anyway. They know I brag too much about my kids, and they don’t care. They realize I talk way too much, but they just sit back and listen.
What I think I’m trying to say here is this; I am the luckiest person in the world. I have the best friends anyone could ever hope for. Growing old still sucks, but if I have to do it, at least I have these ladies doing it alongside me, and that makes it all better.