“As days become years, friends become FAMILY.” –Birthday card greeting
Tonight I was out to dinner in D.C. with several of my girlfriends celebrating a birthday. We’ve been friends for years, since our adult and college-aged children were in kindergarten.
Our friendship formed on the elementary playground where we met daily; we bonded at youth soccer games and school performance; we established close relationships at PTA planning meetings and carnival fund-raisers. Many parents can point to these early friendships we make with other parents of younger children. The bonds run deep.
One way we maintained our sanity as mothers of young children was to celebrate each other’s birthdays. No. Matter. What. The birthday girl selected the restaurant of choice and one of us made the reservation and drove to dinner. Those early birthday dinners were such a treat for me. Not only did they get me out of the house for an evening, but they also surrounded me with other like-minded women trying to raise kids without screwing them up. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone.
Over the years we have experienced highs and lows, but the birthday dinners have continued. Tough times included divorces, illnesses, suicides, unemployment. But there have been many celebrations too — new puppies, promotions, travels, and career changes.
Tonight we toasted one of the sweetest members of our group. We laughed and shared a beautiful meal together. Our enduring friendship and shared memories make us more than friends. We are family.