My bestest friends…

I work with 4 year olds, and yes, Bestest is a word.

It’s funny, but some of my very bestest friends are women I have never met.
There’s Patsy, who does the photography for my cemeteries page. I admire her, because she does an awesome job at the photography and she has incredible patience with me about getting the images online. And though we’ve never met, I can feel that she’s a funny person and I love to laugh. (Plus, she’s doing some awesome work on the cemetery blog).

There’s Astrid. She lives in Australia and though we’ve only talked online, I feel like we were separated at birth and put a half a world apart to grow up. She brightens my day every time she emails me. She’s funny too and likes genealogy and TMG so that means she has to be a good person. 🙂

There was Mari. She and I ran the mailing list for Rutherford County together and talked via email for years, but never met. She passed away last year and I still find myself thinking, I’ll ask Mari, she’ll know. She had an incredible sense of humor and loved everyone as long as they said “Thank you.” She was big on being appreciative.

And now there’s Erin. We just read each other’s blog and sympathize on raising kids and life in general, but there’s that connection there. Though she home schools and I live for sending my kids off every morning to school.

Of course, there’s my real life friends, Teri from high school, Mollie who even though we had years where we didn’t speak, we are now friends again, Johnna and Debbie from elementary school, and Christy now-My real life friend who I can see every day if I want. She’s the mom of my practice grandchildren. Then there’s the girls I work with that bring me daily joy and make me want to go to work each day, just so we can hang out together (yes, some of them are only four.)

What is it about these women? Well, they are funny, smart, are there for me (or were at the point in my life when we were friends). They are the women I can send an SOS to at 3 am and they will pray for me and will worry until I send out the all clear. Though they are all specific people, they also represent other women who were special to me at that same time. Some of them are years younger than I, some are my age, some are years older. God brought them into my life so that I could make their life better, and instead, they made mine better.

Now you may notice I didn’t mention my mom. My mom is not my best friend. She’s my mom. I love her and she’s special, but she has her own special place that no friend could ever fill in my heart. Mom’s spirit is so large that it fills that entire area of my heart and always will. I don’t need anyone else to fill it.

Then there is my Mother-in-law, who has her own special place. She is not my mother, and never has tried to be. She understood that our relationship was special and should be nurtured.

These two women have crafted me into the woman you all see. My mom had me the first sixteen years and they both have had me the rest. While my friends fill the place of the sister I never had, my mother and my mother-in-law have their own compartments of my being and they fill those compartments perfectly.

And finally my two daughters. I don’t want them to be my best friends either. They are my precious daughters. A place of reverence is held for each of them. They don’t have to always like what I decide for them, or agree with what I decide for them, but they will always know that I love them no matter what choices they make and I probably won’t like or agree with those either.. Friends come and go from our lives, but these two precious women will be with me from the day they were born, until the day one of us passes on to Heaven. I will cherish every minute of the ride.

So to all the women in my life. Thanks. Thanks for being there, for praying for me, for crying on my behalf, for being patient with me, for putting me in my place when I needed it, which I often do. Thanks for sharing your lives with me. Thanks for making me laugh.

And to the women I didn’t mention by name, I didn’t forget you. I promise. In Girl Scouts we sing “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” There’s not a bronze medal amongst you.


4 thoughts on “My bestest friends…

  1. You’re a teacher? Oh, that explains it! You see…(sit down now)…almost every person that I can think of in my biological family is a teacher! Seriously! From my birth father who just retired after teaching Calculus for 50 years to my mother who is a college teacher to my beloved great aunt who was a librarian at an elementary school until she retired, I come from a long line of teacher and educators. Yes, the kids that are younger than I aren’t teachers, but even my new-found sister longs to be a librarian! See, I may send my kids to the basement for their educations (hee, hee), but that is a small difference!

    I feel so blessed to have been included in your blessings. Thank you for making me feel special!

    My favorite part of your post, however, was your clarification about mothers and daughters. I love how you put it. My mother, from whom I’m estranged, didn’t want to be a mother, she wanted to be a friend, but daughters need mothers and I always keep that in mind as I raise my own daughter. I will always want her to enjoy her time spent with me, but I am her mother and treasure that role.

  2. I am a teacher’s aide. No teaching degree. I help the kids go to the potty, kill bugs (me, not the kids), copy papers, help with handwriting, read books, etc.

    I think too many mothers make the mistake of wanting to be a friend. It’s easier to be a friend.

    Friends love you and tell you what you want to hear. Moms love you and tell you what you need to hear.

    Friends get to hang when you stay out late, Moms get to pray for your safe arrival home.

    Friends get to do things with you that you aren’t supposed to do, Moms fix the broken pieces.

    We pick our friends, our mothers are gifts from God. I’d much rather be a gift for my girls than something they picked out.

  3. I don’t have my teaching degree…honestly, I wouldn’t want to teach in today’s educational environment…and I’ve said as much to my relatives who question my homeschooling of my children. When you get them to be honest, they all admit teaching isn’t what it used to be and their hands are tied in a lot of situations.

    I think you hit it the nail on the head regarding mothers and daughters…as I have gone through the painful rehashing of my childhood and tried to understand my own mother’s motivations, I would agree with everything you said. I just think a lot of women from her generation really devalued the importance of motherhood and the role the home plays in creating a happy, healthy, functional family.

  4. I think in the 70s a lot of women went out to “find themselves” and lost what was important. But I have learned that it’s not fair to judge our ancestors by our lives. My great grandmother made the decisions she made based on the times and knowledge she had, pre birth control, pre legal abortion. It’s easy to say why didn’t she do so and so, but we don’t have to live during the times they did. They needed to get away from the home to save their sanity (my own mom had no phone, no car, no close neighbors, no internet and a sickly child to care for) and suddenly there were opportunities to do so and many women jumped on the wagon.

    I don’t blame them for the choices they made, because I would have done the exact same thing, but as you said it made for a whole generation of children raising themselves, and we are still seeing the repercussions. We just have to be careful not to take it to the extremes the other way, which is usually how society tend to behave. What was good twenty years ago is evil today. 🙂

    As for teaching today, if I had a degree in teaching, I would probably use it to get a job in some other industry. Teachers today work far too hard, far too long, with far too little respect for the money they make. But for me, it’s a fun job, no responsibilities beyond what is happening at the moment, and it pays for my research. And hopefully a little college for the kiddos.

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