My friend Breanne and I have been friends for about 7 or 8 years now and we have been fortunate enough to sort of go through life stages together. We got engaged and married around the same time, got pregnant with our first babies around the same time, moved churches around the same time, and had our second babies around the same time. It has been so much fun experiencing these things together, learning from each other, encouraging each other, and sometimes just knowing that I have a friend who is going crazy raising two babies just like me!
The other day, I realized that a friendly visit is definitely not what it used to be. You see, back before we had kids, I remember meeting Breanne at Starbucks for coffee and a nice peaceful chat. We would talk about what was going on in each other's lives and pray with each other and just feel encouraged after leaving. I felt like I knew her so much better after those conversations. Contrast that with this weekend's visit. I suggested getting together for dinner with the kids since both of our husbands were out of town. I made a casserole, packed up the kids and their luggage and headed over to her house. By the time I got to her door I was a ball of sweat, Maia was sliding down my hip and gripping onto my shirt for dear life, the diaper bag was knocking Noah in the head because I told him to stay close to me, and I was trying not to drop the casserole and keep it from Maia's curious fingers all at the same time. I said a breathless hello and dropped all my luggage to the floor including Maia. Let the chaos begin! Breanne got her two little ones up from their nap and brought out a million toys. Of course out of all the toys the boys wanted the same exact toy the entire evening. This meant that Breanne and I spent the evening disciplining and using the words "share" and time out" a lot. Maia became a vacuum cleaner eating any food remnants that Peyton would drop, pennies from Ethan's piggy bank, or lint. Peyton spent the night completely freaked out that I was going to steal her from her mommy and cried anytime Breanne walked away from her or I came close to her. As you can imagine, this environment was not conducive to deep conversation. As soon as we would start talking about the joys or struggles in our lives, we'd have to break up a fight, pull a penny out of Maia's mouth, or pick up baby Peyton to get her to stop screaming.
After playing with the kids, feeding them dinner (and shoving dinner down our throats at lightning speed), giving them a bath, and cleaning up it was time for us to go. We packed up our luggage and said good-bye. What a difference a few years makes!
On my drive home, when my babies were fast asleep in the backseat, I thanked the Lord for this stage in my life and for my friend Breanne. Even amidst all the chaos, I left encouraged and blessed by our friendship. Although, we had to scream to talk and were interrupted every two seconds it was a joy to be with a good friend whose life was in the same place mine is. We understood each other perfectly and were not offended when in mid-sentence one us would completely ignore the person who was talking to save a child from falling down the stairs! I think every mommy needs friendships like these for sanity and support. Thanks Breanne!