Wednesday night I headed 90 minutes south to get together with my nearest and dearest friends – a group that combines grade school, high school and college friends. It is a gift that they all live in the same area and that I am close enough to see them as well (though not often enough :().
The girls minus MaryEllen who met us towards the end of dinner
We met up at Zen Asian Fusion restaurant which was very good and served huge portions! Sadly we were unable to take our leftovers home as we were going right to a show from dinner (the smell, if nothing else, would have been a bit of a bother to those around us!). All of these women have kids in college at various stages and 4 of us have Freshman as well. While driving down, I talked with my mom and told her how much I was looking forward to seeing the girls and that I also was a bit anxious ‘if they all say their kids are adjusting to college with no issues and life is flying high, I will feel really bad’. What I was saying is that I needed some validation that what we are going through is normal which will provide reassurance that the boyz will be ok.
And of course, I got just that…while everyone is doing well and the kids are adjusting, it is not perfect for any of them. There are little things – different for everyone, that they are dealing with – stress of athletic and academic schedules and how to take care of themselves amidst that, meeting friends that they click with when they are somewhat shy, managing time and sometimes going back to their rooms to sleep midday (which stresses parents out to know!), missing friends at home and the ease of the connection that comes with knowing people for years….But this is the biggest transition of their lives and they are managing bit by bit.
The power of friendship is amazing …each stage we go through in life, our friends are there to support us in a way that no one else can. Family are not usually going through the exact same stage (unless you are a multiple:)) and are often too close to you to be objective. Friends can be so close yet maintain a sense of objectivity at the same time. And friends who have been with you through so much….childhood so they know your family and where you come from, adolescence so they know the awkwardness and pain that you have experienced, college so they had the ups and downs that those 4 years (hopefully 4!) bring, first jobs, weddings, marriage, births, parenting, and now having kids in college and parents that may need care as well. There is so much with this group that does not need to be said…so much that we understand about each other because of the history and because we are navigating these phases of life side by side. The validation I received that night was magical – it transformed my worry to acceptance. It took the catastrophizing thoughts away and replaced them with thoughts of a normalized college experience. These friendships are one of the greatest gifts that life offers.
And lest you think we were all serious and philosophizing the night away, let it be known that the initiation of the plan to get together was Alicia seeing that ‘Menopause’ the musical was playing at a theatre nearby. So we ended the night with lots of laughs and joy. It was a great show well worth seeing if you are a woman who is at this stage of life. Though there were some men in the audience, undoubtedly dragged by their wives, who the performers made sure to capitalize on by singing directly to them and creating even more laughs.
The show was 4 women singing various cover songs with the words changed to make hilarious renditions about this stage of life
Thank you girls <3
I had a 90 minute drive home and by the time we left the theatre it was 9:30pm – already past my bedtime! But the energy I had from the night – the connection , the laughs, the love….it kept me going and I was not the least bit tired until I hit my pillow. These girls and their friendship most certainly feeds the love.