Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Minivans

Well, last night I finally got out with my girlfriends for a night out (Hallelujah!). It was a much needed escape from working, taking care of the kids and being socially isolated in cartoon land. The margaritas were flowing, and we had awesome conversation over quesadillas and enchiladas. I always forget how much I love hanging out with other women that can relate to the things that I deal with every day. We all have kids. We all have husbands. We all have problems. There is just something so refreshing about having a conversation with another woman and her saying "Yes! I know exactly what you mean," or "Something like that happened to me just last week." It is as if you can just let out a sigh of relief and know that you truly aren't alone, and no, you are not going crazy (well, you are, but in a completely normal way).

Topics of conversation ranged from buying houses, the terrible economy, jobs, our husbands, our kids, and best of all, funny stories and reminiscants of times passed. We all went to high school together, so we could swap stories that began with statements like "Do you remember that kid so-and-so?" or "Remember that time...?" It was FUN. I felt myself relax, let go and be filled with the warm feeling you get in your heart when you are surrounded by friends. And for a brief, shining moment I was able to pretend that I was a young, hip woman with a social life and a group of equally hip and beautiful friends a la Sex and the City. By the way, my friends ARE hip and beautiful, but instead of going home to tiny apartments in Manhattan, they all go home to their husbands and children in the suburbs.

By midnight, I was exhausted (it being about two hours past my bedtime and all), and we were all ready to go abandon the surreal experience of actually being out at night without our husbands and kids and return to "real life." As we headed back to our minivans, a wave of sadness came over me. I felt like I didn't know when I would see them all again, because of our busy schedules and crazy life circumstances. I made sure to say that we shouldn't wait so long next time to do it again. Everyone agreed, but we also all knew that it was out of our control and we would just have to anxiously anticipate the next time we could sneak out.

Spending time with my girlfriends injects me with a rejuvenation of youth, and reminds me of who I was before I became a wife and mother. I need that. But most importantly, it makes me appreciate the life that I have, because when I come home and climb into bed next to my dear hubby, the kids sleeping soundly upstairs, I realize that I missed them. I think there is no greater gift than being shown what you should be apppreciating. So for all these reasons, I thank my girlfriends--for being wonderful women and moms, for showing me a good time, and for giving me a chance to miss my wonderful life. Now I will commence missing them, until I am blessed with seeing them again.