I scurry around my house trying to tidy and straighten. I need to make sure every thing is just so, in it's place. I want my home to appear a certain way. Casually hectic, busy but in an organized way. I try to give the impression of a woman with a lot on her plate but who has act together. A woman that I wish that I was. A woman I will never be.
I have seen this image of relaxed perfection with my own two eyes, in Pottery Barn catalogs and paper towel commercials. The woman with the clean khaki's and the fresh cup of coffee. She has never thrown a crayon at her four-year-old in frustration. She has never opened her crisper drawer and thrown away 20lbs. of rotten vegetables. She never has to change her button down blouse because she spilled salsa all over the front.
This woman, this ideal of motherhood is always is the back of my mind, and I will never measure up.
I was preparing for a visit from my high school best friend. The friend who knew me when. When I thought I was fat, when I wanted to be liked, when I was emotional and dramatic and chemically unbalanced.
I guess not much has changed.
This friend of mine is one of those people who could see straight through to the best of me. She knows when I am being true to myself, and she can identify when I am misdirected. She reconnects me to my authentic self, she always has.
My friend lives 3000 miles away. She lives a life very different than mine. One without kids, or husbands, without soccer schedules, and diapers. A life with freedoms that I can only begin to imagine.
But none of this matters.
I am in the middle of putting an apple crisp in the oven, to make sure the house smells good, when I remember that it doesn't matter. This friendship is not like that.
With this I take a breath. I retrieve a scrapbook of memories of our friendship and settle on the sofa to tell my children stories about two girls who met when they were only 12 years old. My kids are mesmerized.
My friend is visiting PA for three days. By my calculations that is 4320 minutes, of which she spent 60 minutes visiting me. This makes me feel honored and flattered and very special.
When she arrives with her handsome beau they are greeted at the door by my children. My kids have stayed up just to meet her. They want to meet the girl in mommy's book. The book featuring pictures, letters, cards and drawings, mementos of a remarkable friendship. They want to meet the friend who knew me when they were just a twinkle in my eye.
As soon as I see her I remember instantly why we stay connected. I know that whether it is miles or milestones that separate us, we will always have a bond.
I am thankful, as always, for my beautiful children and my incredible husband, but tonight when I count my blessings, dear friend, I will count you twice.