Some of you are new around here, and that's such a humbling and wonderful thing. Welcome. I'm so glad to have you. On Fridays, I often participate in Five-Minute Friday. It's a free write...a chance for us to empty our heads and hearts by writing for five minutes in response to a one-word prompt. More importantly, Five-Minute Friday is a community of writers supporting each other for love of the process. We don't worry about making things perfect on Fridays. We just write because we're writers, and we encourage each other because we're friends.
Want to join in? Visit Kate's blog for more information and to link up your own post (or to write in the comments if you don't have a blog).
And now, my thoughts on REAL.
There are lots of different kinds of friends- the church ones, the ones I used to see at work, the ones who frequent the same parks or story times that I do. There's the man who drives the garbage truck that always waves when he picks up our can- we made cookies for him one day, and he beeps the horn at us if we stand on the porch when he goes by. There are the friends from high school, whose children I see and admire on social media, the people whose birthdays I know because Facebook tells me when they are. I can line up all of their faces in my head- the people who make up my days, weeks, months and years, forming a sort of cloud around my life, overlapping and intersecting with each other, knowing me a little bit and letting me know them.
But then there are the friends who know me now. The ones whom I have never met in person, but whose blogs and conversation and notes and long-distance hugs are solidarity and strength. The ones who bring over the bits and pieces from their fridges, combining with mine to feed a dozen in a loaves and fishes moment. The ones who crowd around our table with their families, not minding that it wasn't designed to hold that many. The ones for whom I don't need to vacuum, whose children's forgotten socks mingle with mine in the laundry, who think nothing of dumping that laundry out and folding it with me when they're here. The ones whose laps my kids will agree to climb into for a story. The ones who sneak quietly in the front door during nap time to visit me, because that's the only time I can have an uninterrupted adult conversation (maybe). The ones who read my writing and honestly tell me what they think. The ones who come over to talk about grownup books and drink tea and remember with me that mothers are people who sometimes think about things other than children. The ones who remind me every day that I have the strength to get through, no matter what happens...and that part of my strength comes from loving and being loved by you.
When I think of you, all of you, I can only be grateful for all the people who share my life and whose stories overlap with mine.
For more Five-Minute Friday, visit Kate's blog, Heading Home.