On Friday afternoons, my dear Kristen comes over for a little accountability group, which translates to three cups of coffee, catching up on all the THINGS that have happened since last week, and then glancing at the clock eight minutes before she has to leave to pick up her kids from school and saying, “Oh, wow, I guess we should group!”
Kristen and I have been close for fifteen years. At the end of high school when we actually spoke to one another and realized we didn’t hate each other, we clicked fast and stuck strong.
We lived together in college and have seen each other through about seventy break-ups, a dozen hair-do’s, a couple weddings, a handful of births, a few hundred pounds gained and lost.
We’ve gone for back-roads-chat-cruises in Corsicas, Berettas, Renaissances, Civics, PT Cruisers, Jettas, Blazers, Jeeps, Grand Prixs, Town & Countrys, Enclaves, and Siennas.
We’ve swapped clothing and décor and a boyfriend (just once), and traded bad habits for (mostly) better ones.
We’ve graduated from Boone’s Farm to Pinot Noir. Easy Cheese to Brie. Instant to Fair Trade Colombian.
We’ve upgraded from dorms to apartments to teensy houses to actual HOMES with the whole gamut of inhabitants – husbands, kids, dogs, cats, fish, dust bunnies.
We’ve popped back zits and picked basil from each other’s teeth. We’ve dyed each other’s hair. (Okay, she’s dyed mine because Princess doesn’t have any grays yet.) We’ve ugly cried and freely farted.
She’s my person, and I’m hers.
So on Fridays, we obviously look forward to our little time together, BUT it’s a total crap-shoot what my house is going to look like when she rolls up in her shiny minivan and pushes her sunglasses up onto the top of her head.
I mean, Friday afternoon in a house of homeschooling boys after a week of building and experimenting and crafting and running from this to that?
Some Fridays, I am ON IT. We’ve been to story time at the library, had a lunch that includes a couple food groups, and I’ve scurried around a bit tidying up. The dishes are in the dishwasher, a candle is burning on the kitchen counter and I am wearing a bra.
Other days, there’s an upside-down bowl of strawberry yogurt on the dining room floor, two of the three children are pants-less, and I’m just lucky my teeth are brushed. (Or are they?)
Last Friday was one of those days.
Kristen walked in the front door and hollered, “Hi, Love!”
“Hi, Love!” my two-year-old answered. (Yes, the entire family adores her.)
“Come on in!” I shouted from the kitchen. “The toilet is clean and the coffee is on – that’s all I can promise!”
“And you know I don’t care if the toilet is clean,” she replied, walking into the disaster of a kitchen and giving me a squeeze.
We spent the next hour in the sunroom facing the river, clutching mugs of black coffee and huddling around a space heater (“…because you know we won’t be able to sit out here much longer…”).
We cringe-laughed about the upside down flies squirming on the window sill, narrated family pet crises of the week (because there’s always something), and then checked each other on our habits, priorities, and truths before hugging at the door as she went off to scoop up her children and I traipsed back to the kitchen to clear the counter of plaster stepping stones and start dinner.
From week to week and year to year, our friendship is basically the same. The setting has changed, and the number of human beings and critters we care for has multiplied, but we’ve come to rely on the promise of coffee, laughter, truth-telling, and a (usually) clean toilet.
When I was a junior in high school (just before I realized I liked Kristen), my most-favorite-of-all-time English teacher asked us write a journal response to this quote from the main character of the TV series My So-Called Life (I know, right?):
There’s the people who you’ve known forever who, like know you in this way that other people can’t, because they’ve seen you change. . . they’ve let you change.
At the time, I thought those were the most profound words ever spoken, and they hung in my room on a fuchsia sticky note beside a Pearl Jam poster for years to come.
Really, I think they’re still true. (And I still listen to Pearl Jam now and again too.)
There’s a unique beauty to a relationship that permits change — a friendship that allows for growth and discovery, but remains situated on the soft bed of grace.
A friendship like the one Kristen and I share.
In the month where we make extra efforts to notice goodness and live with gratitude, I’m giving thanks for fifteen years of loving and being loved by this girl.
What does friendship look like for you? Do you have a friend who has grown with you over the years, a person who knows the past, sees the present, and loves you for all of it?
Love you, KG. Foreva-eva.
If you enjoyed this post, read more personal essay here.
Connect with Revisions of Grandeur on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter (Who knows — I might even tweet…)
Did you know you it’s super easy to receive new-post-notifications from Revisions of Grandeur? Just type your email address in the box and click FOLLOW. Voila! (If you’re on a mobile device, you’ll find this option at the bottom. On a desktop, it’s in the sidebar.) I promise never to spam you. I don’t even know how to spam…
Thanks for visiting me here.