I do realize that 80's rock is overloaded with them.... But I'm not referring to those types of girlfriends. I'm talking about MY girlfriends. The kind who take your whiny 18 month old for the afternoon, so you don't end up being questioned by DHR/CPS for "unexplained" bruises. The kind who walk into your child infested, trashed home the last week of tax season, (when you haven't seen your husband for the last six days straight since he works until the wee hours of the morning, then is gone again before your 6 am wake up call from said 18 month old takes place) and immediately engages your children with a new, fun game to keep them occupied. Once she gets them out of your hair, she walks straight to the laundry room and gets your broom and dustpan without saying a word and starts sweeping your entire house. Piles and piles of old cheerios, cheetos crumbs, and candy wrappers start to grow at her feet, as you look apologetically at her and pray to GOD immediately, "Thank-you for my sisters." No, they're not all my blood sisters, but they are still my SISTERS. The kind who laugh with you and at you for not stopping a phone conversation to scream, "If I have to tell you to get off your brother ONE MORE TIME... I'm going to hang up this phone and WEAR YOU OUT!" Which then leads her to come back over and take two more children for the afternoon, in hopes of giving you a much needed "time out" of your own.
Good Girlfriends are hard to come by. Great Girlfriends are even harder. I have the BEST. Being a single mom the last few weeks of tax season always reminds me of several things. 1. I have a wonderful husband who is very hands-on. 2. I take him for granted. 3. I don't have any idea how true single moms do it. Or moms whose husbands are in the military. I am now praying constantly for you. To me, you are the true heroes here. 4. The Girls in my life are my inner strength.
I grew up in a wonderful small town. Think Mayberry, but in color. Everybody knew everything. If something happened at 9pm, you better believe that Aunt Bea knew about it by 9:30, which meant your Momma knew by your curfew, so you might as well fess up when you walked in the door.
In our tiny Mayberry-town, there was this family who had five children. (This story is in no way related to my own parents, though there were five of us.) They lived in a single-wide trailer, on a dirt hill. ALL seven of them. When the kids were around middle-school age, the Mom left the family. Who knows why... Too many hormones raging... maybe a late bout with post-partum. Extremely late. Who knows, she never really said why. She just left. The Dad raised all five kids to the best of his ability. Worked hard building his family business, and supporting all five children both financially and emotionally. One day, after the last child graduated high school, and all the kids moved away and began lives of their own, the Dad, whose business had grown considerably over the last, oh, 10 years, finally had the single-wide hauled off the property and built a nice, big house- pool and all. Guess who returned shortly? The MOM!! And they worked things out and are living happily ever after. True story.
I'm totally beginning to understand that woman, and why she left, then came back after the worst years were over. All I know is, bless her heart, she didn't have the Girlfriends that I have, cause they would have never let things get that bad. They would have kept life in perspective, made her laugh a lot, and reminded her that this too shall pass. For that, my Sisters, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude. I love you girls, and if it weren't for you, I'm afraid I would be the town Mom who claimed post-partum and left until Bert built a huge fancy house, which The Storm was no longer invading. I owe you girls so much. Some day I hope to return the favors. For now, I just want you to know, you are loved and appreciated.
With that, I will leave you with the only true girlfriend song that came to mind....
"Thank-you for being a friend. (do-do-do-do) Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant. (do-do-do-do-do) And if you threw a party and invited everyone you knew.... You would see the biggest gift would be from ME and the card attached would say, 'Thank-you for being a friend.'"