I shut down this blog because I’m good at starting things and terrible at finishing them. I can come up with a million excuses, from not being able to type much because of hand pain (voice to text is getting better!) to not even really remembering the purpose of starting the blog.
Earlier this week a good friend decided to start a blog about her family life. She’s a better writer than I am so it was good. It was also inspirational. We, not so oddly, have a similar family makeup. Not so odd because well, we are friends and like attracts like right?
We have a similar family makeup. We are close in age and have been married for about the same amount of time, I think she’s been married 9 months longer. Two girls and 1 boy for each of us but the order is a bit different. She has one in college but her middle and my oldest 2 are less than 2 months apart in age and our youngest are within a year of each other.
Personalities are different but similar, likes and dislikes are different but similar, parenting styles are different but similar. you get the picture. She has a great family a clearly devoted husband and kids that are growing up to be good people.
Our friendship was fashioned from proximity and morning sickness. We were next door neighbors and both pregnant, me with my twins and her with her son. Our due dates were very close and had I not had twins cooking and a body incompatible with pregnancy we would have delivered within a week or two if not days of each other.
So early on it was visiting the newborns, awing over the size differences, mine were tiny preemie girls in comparison to her full term robust boy. She already had her older daughter so she was a pro and I was a newbie. There were toddler playdates, storytimes at the library, tumble classes, and weekly lunches at Chick-fil-a. Being mommies together by convenience turned into a friendship that is now 15 years old.
She had the audacity to move about an hour away so the time together dwindled. The 2nd (for me) and 3rd (for her) round of babies came and went. The older kids got older and busier, so we made less of an effort to get together but still kept in touch. Sadly, the babies that brought us together, now 15 years old, were together again for the first time in years just this past summer. Our true babies, now 8 and 9 (almost 9 and 10) didn’t spend their earlier years next door to each other but became fast friends and bonded over video games.
my whole point of this broad compare and contrast history lesson is that first, she made me feel inspired to try this blog again, if she’s going to do it I can too. Second, and probably most importantly she reminded me why I started the blog in the first place. I was looking for flexibility, hence the extremely clever and original name.
As I said before, there were lots of similarities but also differences. It was in the differences where the richness is found. That is where I learned the most from her. I can’t speak for her but I hope I gave a little back too. She and her family are quiet where mine is loud and often raucous. Her oldest daughter was probably the quietest child I have ever met when she was little but when she spoke I wanted to hear what she had to say. It makes me now take note when one of my kids is being quiet because what they have to say in those moments is probably the most important.
Her kids are all mostly picky eaters. When I had nothing to compare but my twins who will power through anything edible put in front of them I marveled at the way she accommodated. On the other hand, she still talks about watching my twins eat an entire apple, core, seeds, and stem. I had no idea how she had the patience and fortitude to deal with such oddity. Then I had my son and was able to deal with his very picky and specific eating peculiarities much better by applying what I observed from her.
We are both readers and movie lovers and she introduced me to books, movies and TV shows that I probably wouldn’t have investigated had she not suggested them. It only took me about 4 tries to make it through her favorite book because it was so long but in the end I loved it. She gave me an excuse to see all 3 Twilight movies when they opened because I had another adult woman to go with and not feel like an idiot.
So I found some flexibility long ago when I didn’t even know it. The mouse with the cookie comes to mind:
If a friend writes a blog it will make me want to write a blog too. When I do I think about the friend that made me want to write the blog and end up writing a blog post about her. While I’m writing the blog about my friend I think about why I wanted to write a blog at all and realize friendships of all kinds are the best way to learn and grow and adapt. Upon that realization, I want to learn more about others and think about how we are alike but different and what I gain from those friends and how they make me more flexible. So now I want to read more blogs.
None of this had anything to do with my illness and life changes but in a sense it did. I’m trying to find the good in what feels like a bad life turn. Maybe part of that good is slowing down and having some introspection so that I can see some of the good that was already there but I hadn’t acknowledged. Consequently, it took me an entire day to write this because of both physical and mental limitations. In that time she posted a blog about mom tribes and I reached out with an invitation to lunch because it’s important to stay connected. win-win.