As moms, we all know how important friendship is. Not only do we want our children to have successful friendships, we – ourselves- also need strong friendships in our lives. Human beings were not meant to be alone. We were meant to live with one another and help each other –especially women who historically worked together to raise and take care of children as a team.
Friends pass in and out of our lives through the years – short-term acquaintances who come in and out of our lives quickly and friends who are part of our lives for a season before growing apart. But others change us for the better and stay with us forever.
The best kind of friend is the friend who you don’t have to clean your house for; the friend who loves you despite your broken or missing pieces. The one who totally understands when you are too busy, stressed out, or just plain dealing with life to reach out but would still be there in an instant if you needed her and the sentiment goes both ways.
One of my best friends and I met before my husband and I officially tied the knot. Her husband was in the same army unit as mine. My husband introduced me to them both one afternoon while I was visiting him. At the time, I was living in Massachusetts but he was stationed in Texas and I knew that I would be joining him there once we were married. I was eager to make a friend there and to learn as much as I could about being a military spouse.
Ireane not only took me under her wing to teach me all she knew but she also genuinely welcomed me. She never made me feel lesser or like an outsider which was a feeling that I got a lot when meeting other military spouses. When I met her, she already had one child (today she has 4) and it’s fairly safe to say that I learned more from her about motherhood than from most of the books I read years later. Ireane breastfed her children and that was something that at the time was totally foreign to me because my own mother chose to bottle feed my sister and I and I really knew almost nothing about breastfeeding. Ireane welcomed my curiosity and my questions and the more I learned, the more I knew I wanted to someday nurse my children too.
She also taught me 90% of what I know about babywearing. To think that I went from someone who had never even heard of babywearing to the vice president of Babywearing Connecticut is astounding. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be this invested in babywearing but I really do love it. That love began the first time that I saw Ireane wrap her firstborn son in a woven wrap. She ebbed confidence and she looked like a bohemian goddess with her peaceful child snuggled against her chest and her lightweight wrap flowing out behind her. I knew that this was the kind of mom I wanted to be.
Fast forward a couple of years and Ireane became not only one of my very best friends but also a bridesmaid in my wedding and her firstborn son became my ring bearer. I volunteered to babysit and even borrowed her son a few times to dye Easter eggs and do kids crafts. We had so much fun. We both lived on the military post and could walk to each other’s houses. I could call her at 2 am when my husband was deployed and I knew she’d pick up the phone.
Then, my husband got out of the active-duty Army and became a member of the reserves instead. We moved and losing my daily contact with Ireane just about killed me. I felt like I was moving away from a sister. She really felt like a part of my family. We kept in touch via email and skype but as both of our families grew it became harder and harder to chat on a regular basis but she was the first non-immediate family member that I wanted to share my pregnancies with and she was the one I reached out to for advice when I was struggling as a new mom.
During the height of Covid, her husband happened to be transferred to a location just 4 hours away. It was difficult to contain my excitement. But, of course, life and COVID had other plans and we were unable to get together –until this past weekend. We hadn’t seen each other in ten years… that’s right TEN YEARS. But you know what? It felt like not a week had passed. We instantly reconnected. We laughed, we introduced our children to each other, and we indulged in food and board games. I felt the stress of my everyday life melting away. Being with her was like food for my soul. I am beyond grateful. Unfortunately, life will bring more distance between us soon but I’m not worried. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
Do you have a special friend that you know you could always count on? The friends who really matter are the ones that don’t mind your messy house or messy life. Being in your company is enough just the way you are. Send that friend a message today and just let her know how much she means to you.
Sending a virtual hug to my friend Ireane. Let’s make sure another 10 years doesn’t fly by without a visit.
Footprints In Your Heart
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas,
Average minds discuss events,
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me.
You brought another friend,
And then there were three.
We started our group,
Our circle of friends,
And like that circle –
There is no beginning or end.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
That’s why it’s called the present.