An Open Letter to a Friend That I Miss

My Dear Friend,

When my son was a few months old, you invited me out for coffee. I told you that I would take a raincheck. “Maybe next week,” I said. Well, next week came and went, and — in the blink of an eye! — my son celebrated his third birthday. I didn’t realize time moved so fast.

You came by for a visit when you were in town not too long ago. I had high hopes for our reunion; I envisioned us sitting and talking, recounting our experiences since we had seen each other last. It had been so long since we had had a conversation, let alone seen each other in person. I stood at the entryway of my house, smiling and eager to greet you. When you pulled into my driveway and stepped out of your car, I noticed how fashionable and beautiful you looked; you’ve always had such a great sense of style. And while I was beyond happy to see you… yet, I suddenly felt a twinge of insecurity.

The “me” you met years ago is no longer the “me” I am today. We used to spend hours together, dancing the night away after a stressful exam during grad school or having drinks when we both lived in San Antonio.

The truth is, nowadays I am a mess. When you sent me a sweet message saying “I’m on my way!” I panicked inwardly. I hadn’t showered for a period longer than I care to mention, my home was in disarray, my son was running around in his underwear and I had work pending on my computer.  (Did I mention my son was running around in his underwear?)

I immediately began to clean up as best I could and threw on a dress that, thanks to God, was clean and hanging in my closet. I rubbed BB cream on my face as I instructed your Godson to put on some pants. It was somewhat of a tornado to tell you the truth. A tornado that is in effect quite often and that has become my life.

As you came up the walkway, I wondered if you could sense my insecurity, if you could see how chaotic things had been just a few minutes before and how much I longed to have a little of what you have. A little of the carefree, I-really-only-have-to-worry-about-me feeling. I miss that. I miss you

As we sat on the sofa and tried to catch up, Luisito attempted to get my attention what seemed to be a thousand times. You patiently waited as I said “Wow, your car goes very fast. Mommy is talking to your Godmother; I’ll play with you in a bit” just about every thirty seconds. You smiled at me and wholeheartedly said that you didn’t mind, that it was okay, that I didn’t have to apologize. And while I know you were sincere, I have to tell you, I’m really sorry. Because in that moment, I felt that I had failed you.

We were once very close. We were study buddies, pouring over each other’s notes after class, broke and anxious to graduate. I was the unofficial third wheel when you met your husband, and I didn’t entirely pick up on the fact that you were dating… Remember that? Sometimes, I still can’t believe I chimed in “I’ll eat with you guys!” every time you said you were heading off to lunch.

I was privileged to be with you when you went wedding dress shopping and cried tears of joy as you were fitted in a beautiful gown. I stood by  you when you said “I do” to starting a life with the man of your dreams. We raised our glasses and laughed over spilled champagne when you closed on the house you would renovate into your home. We vowed to have what we dubbed our “Wednesday dinners” at a new restaurant every week when we lived in San Antonio, diving headfirst into uncharted waters where the entrees had names I couldn’t pronounce. But that was then.

Now, three years later, I have morphed into a variation of that woman. I have become a mom. My daily routine involves driving my son to soccer practice, giving him a bath, reading a bedtime story, and grabbing a quick dinner if I’m lucky. My life is consumed by my new role, and while I love my son more than anything else, I know motherhood has taken a toll on my friendships.I want you to know that I’m aware of how our friendship has evolved. I want you to know that I think of you. Often. When I have a minute to browse through social media, I see your smiling face and it makes me happy. I admire your adventures and the incredible things you are doing with your life.

I know I don’t call as much as I’d like. And sometimes it takes me a day or two to get back to you. But I pray for you. When I’m lying in bed next to my angel face son, exhausted after another day, I close my eyes and ask God to bless you. I want the best for you and am proud to call you my friend, even if I’m just watching from a distance.

At this particular moment in time, we are in different phases of our lives. One day, we may very well both be mothers and relate to each other differently than we do now. And, if we don’t share that experience, that will be okay, too. Just know that I’m holding on to that raincheck for a coffee date. And, in the world of motherhood, rainchecks don’t expire.

Love you always,

Your Dear Friend 

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