I learned last week that one of my closest friends is moving to Denver. When I heard the news, it felt like a physical blow to the gut. At first I went numb, and then I could actually feel the point of impact.
There are three of us that met two years ago when we were new moms, trying to navigate the unfamiliar waters of motherhood. We quickly became inseparable friends, bonding over the highs and lows of parenting.
We constantly talk either via text or in person throughout the day, and usually hang out several times a week. We swap baby supplies, maternity clothes and pretty much everything else.
We talk about the intimate, ugly details of everything in our lives. And I mean everything. Our sex lives, politics, family relationships, if its messy or uncomfortable, it's fair game.
We have a safe word, "Listen Bitch", a sacred totem that precedes anything we say to one another that could be interpreted as hurtful or painful. Listen Bitch is used indicate that what we are going to say will come from a genuinely kind and loving place, but may not be easy to hear. And we are asking the person to hear the message with an open heart.
Listen bitch has been used to deliver some incredibly tough messages over the years, but it's also been used to remind one another when we are being too hard on ourselves, which is often.
Usually it's as hard to deliver a Listen Bitch as it is to receive one.
We are like the three legs of a stool, the three strands of a braid. It only works when all three of us are engaged. When one of us goes quiet, the conversation goes flat. Discussions aren't as strong. Nothing flows quite as well.
And now that M is moving half a continent away, it feels like we are losing something critical. Without her face at play dates, her cooking at family brunches, her dry comments at girls night outs, things won't be the same.
And we already feel it. Our little triumvirate, which has always had remarkably little drama, is suddenly on shaky ground. There is all this extra friction right now.
We are a little bit brittle, a little less fluid, a little bit delicate with one another. We have moments of that old comfortable ease, and moments of this new uncomfortable friction and overall it's all part of this change process.
I don't think any of us really know how we are going to do it, but I know we will figure it out. I know we will be fine. We have weathered some pretty tough things together, and we will pull through this as well. It will just take us a little bit of adjusting. But it sucks to have to go through such a major shift with such a large physical distance impending.
Here's to creative girls weekends. With lots of laughs. And cabana boys. And alcohol as soon as I am off the heavy pain pills from my run in with the lovely lady in her car.
I wish you all the best M, I love you :-)