Have you ever had one of those days that simply made you smile?
Friendships are important in this empty nest life of mine. Although I am an introvert, I do enjoy being with close friends. They help fill the gap left by my children who live far away.
I have different circles of friends; church friends, writer friends, long-distance friends, college friends and school-mom friends. This last group of friends is a special group. We have been together in some shape or form for at least 15 years.
When my daughter was in sixth grade, I started scrapbooking every Friday during the school year with another mom. She was new in town and new to our school and we found we had much in common, including daughters with the same name. (Katelyn and Kaitlynn — two of the myriad of ways you can spell that name)
From year to year, other moms either joined the group. There were as many as twelve at one time. Our children all attended the same K-12 Christian school and we all enjoyed scrapbooking. Every Friday morning, we would drop our kids off at school and head over to one of our homes. We would work on albums, enjoy lunch together and leave in time to pick the kids up from school.
As we shared our memories we shared our lives.
We prayed each other through so many things; from problems our children were having at school to illnesses to marital issues. We wept with each other over heart-wrenching circumstances and cried when friends moved away. We celebrated the accomplishments of each other’s children, almost as proud as their own parents. We attended birthday parties, graduation parties and wedding showers. We stood with each other at the graveside. As time passed, we celebrated college graduations, first jobs and a few weddings. We even mourned the loss of each others pets.
Our little group is well, little now. There are six of us left. All of us have grown children, the youngest of them will be finished with college soon. We all pretty much live in an empty nest and we have welcomed a new empty nest mom into our fold.
We went from meeting every week to meeting every other week and phased out the scrapbooking. Now we play cards or dominoes. The one thing that hasn’t changed is our friendship and the joy we have in sharing and celebrating the milestones in our lives.
Which brings me back to the day that just made me smile . . .
Last week, on our game day, we surprised one of our own with a “Grandma shower”. It was a joy to celebrate the excitement of becoming a grandparent for the first time with this sweet friend. She was completely surprised, which made the celebration even more fun. We all enjoyed showering her with gifts for Grandma’s house and agreed that when it is our turn, we will have trouble bypassing the baby departments in our local stores. (I think I need to start saving up now.)
I am so thankful that I have friends to share the milestones of life, both happy and sad. It makes life sweeter.