Sunday, April 6, 2014

In the Presence of Faithful Friends

"Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth."

Last night I gathered more than a handful of women friends to share a meal at a Korean restaurant in our shared hometown. Over bulgogi and banchan and wine and hard cider, we talked for hours about any number of things. We were the last group to leave the restaurant last night. Yes, we closed the place down.

This is an eclectic group of women who grew up all across the country and who chose to raise their families here in New Jersey. Among us is a toy store owner, a legal aid lawyer, a professional baker, a banking executive, a parole officer and a couple of librarians. We all are mothers with children attending the local public schools. 

We talked about all sorts of things but the conversations seemed to circle back to childrearing. Our children range in age from 18 months to the mid-twenties and we swapped advice and worries, regrets and hilarity. I think we all went back to our homes refreshed and renewed by friendship, by the moments that do not happen when we "talk" by text or on facebook. 

Writer Elizabeth Foss  has a wonderful way of expressing the value of friendship between women. 

Women are competent. We are in charge. We have a lot of control. We maintain 
consistency and stability for our families. We plan and organize and ensure that everyone 
has socks and underwear in the morning when they open their drawers. ...

However. We need a place to be vulnerable, to soften, to speak our fears. ..

To be that friend for someone, always bear in mind that everyone is living her own 
struggles. Everyone is wrestling her own demons. Grant the grace you want.