On Halloween we trick or treated with neighbor friends, because that’s how we do. Steffani and Laurie know each other through me. They both have three year old daughters, Clare and Abigail, who decided that they had to trick or treat holding hands. Since Annie refused to get out of her stroller, I kept up with the older kids as they ran from door to door. Pretty soon, Steffani and Laurie were half a block behind us.
We all caught up again at Lara’s home, where as we stood outside with the kids milling around, Laurie gave Steffani her phone number.
Suddenly I was twelve years old again.
Wait, what? Why are they exchanging phone numbers? If they become better friends, what will happen to me?
Now, I know that this is silly.
And I further know that I am the one moving away.
But for one really solid moment, I felt alone.
I am blessed with an abundance of wonderful women friends. They live everywhere, from Maui to Canada and points in between.
But Steffani, Lara, Dana, Laurie, Amy, Jennifer, Angela. These are the women within shouting distance. They are the ones who come running when. And any woman—but especially a mama—knows that you cannot do life well unless you have a solid core of other women who come running when.
From midnight trips to the ER to parenting advice to playdates over muffins and coffee while the babies play, these are the friends who make the daily business of parenting joyful from the simple knowledge that I am not alone and there is always another way to cut the cake or skin the cat, depending.
So I’m sad.
Because these women right here, right now? They will always be my friends, but they won’t be within shouting distance, and for a while I’m going to feel like I lost my safe place to land.
They have taught me: we all need women who come running when. Women who love us and support us and answer the phone at 2 am. Women who laugh with us and at us and don’t see the dirty dishes or the pile of laundry. Women who travel with us and celebrate with us and cry with us when it all goes wrong.
They see us at our best and our worst and they still come running when. They show up for it all.
I want to say thank you to these women for making my life here so beautiful and full of love and joy. I couldn’t have done it without you and I love you.
And here’s to all the women who come running when.
May you know one and may you be one.