This week in my life I have something really special to look forward to. Tomorrow night a rarity in my life is going to occur…I’m going out for Girls Night. Yes, I’m going to head out for a few hours with my friends and enjoy being Mandi instead of Mommy. I’m so excited.
A couple years ago, I joined Facebook. When I did I came back in touch with people from my hometown of Princeton, Illinois. It was amazing finding people that I hadn’t seen or heard from in years.
In the midst of all the Friend Requests and Wall Posts, a small group started to form. Several girls I knew when I was younger started talking. We planned girls’ nights, play-dates, and kept actively involved in each other’s lives on Facebook. What amazed me the most is these are not the girls that I hung out with the most when I was in school. These are not those friends who vowed to me in yearbook entries “Best Friends Forever” or “We’ll always be together”. Yet here we are.
And what is even more amazing is when I’m with them, I feel like the years we spent apart never happened. We’re becoming closer now than we ever were, we are supporting each other, and we are making the decision to form a little crew amidst our crazy lives. A motley crew maybe…but a crew none the less!
So we set apart times to get together and just be us…to almost step back in time and just be silly girls from a small town together. When I’m with them I don’t have to worry about billable hour requirements, if I’m doing all I can for my kids, the stress I’ve been under as a partner, the grind of the day to day life of being a working Mom. I check all that at the door and just catch up and laugh.
I have a few circles of friends. My best friends (who I shouldn’t even call my friends as they are my sisters), my work friends, my daycare friends…but there is something really special about this new circle that has formed. I am learning from these girls that it is 100% true what they say about the older you get the more you need people who knew you when you were younger. The people I meet in my life now just know me as J, H, and L’s Mom, Todd’s wife, or a partner at my law firm. But when I’m with these girls…I’m Mandi. Period. They knew me when I was young, they know my history, they know the beginning of my story. I think that is what makes them so able to understand and support the chapter I am in my life now. It’s hard to pick up a book in the middle of a story and really grasp the storyline…but the people who have read the entire story appreciate where you are now, because they saw where you started out. And because they have read the entire book so far (even though they have to catch up on some parts they missed), they are more apt to want to stick with you and see how the story ends.
So to my Princeton girls: I hope you all know how much our new circle means to me. I’m not sure how we all made it back to each other, but I am certainly glad we did. I love that we are raising our kids to know each other, I love that we can vent to each other, I am so happy we are making our friendship a priority. And perhaps most of all, I am SO happy we are going to LaGrotto’s tomorrow…oh how I have missed that pizza!!