Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Open Letter to Friends I Never See

Dear Friend(s) Who Lives Far Away and Possibly Left Me A Voicemail A Few Months Ago That I Never Responded To:

Yesterday, one of my favorite friends called me whilst chauffering her little brood of three who had apparently all fallen asleep in their carseats. I was in the middle of nursing my fussy six-week old while also fending off my three-and-a-half year-old who wanted to hug and squeeze and kiss his newest, favorite-ist toy, also known as his nine-pound baby sister. It was not an easy situation for casual catching up on the phone, but, because I have a serious deficit of adult conversation with friends who know me well, I ill-advisedly answered the phone.

And subsequently, all hell broke loose.

I kid, but I did end up nearly face-planting into the carpet with the babe in my arms because my preschooler was underfoot in a major way and so I did the only thing I could think of, which was to impulsively close my bedroom door and lock it, with my preschooler on the other side. After a couple moments of muffled weeping and gnashing of teeth, I opened the door and found a very distraught little boy who informed me through crocodile tears that "when mamas lock their doors, people who are strange (a.k.a. strangers) can come and get little boys." Um, he will most likely need therapy at some point for this little incident. And I will probably remember "that time I locked my kid out of my room and destined him for abandonment issues" for the rest of time.

All this to say, it's hard for me to talk on the phone with friends these days. And this makes me sad.

After that conversation with my friend, which was made possible by PBS Kids yet again, I hung up the phone feeling disappointed that I was so distracted and frazzled while we talked. And then a weird fear took hold. Was this the beginning of the end of friendships that have been years in the making, but still require maintenance and real connection which I am currently unable to give? Were all my friends who haven't heard from me in months or seen me in person since that last wedding or reunion going to begin to give up on me? Would our phone calls become even less frequent and when they did actually happen, would they feel stiff and formal and have none of the old familiarity that is so necessary for real friendships? Gah!

All these fears flashed through my mind as I cleaned up yet another diaper explosion and disciplined yet another of my preschooler's willful moments.

And so, here I am, friends, letting you know that I think about you a lot, even though I don't call or write or send you texts full of emojis. I have random memories of you that show up every time I watch "You've Got Mail" or hear REM's "Nightswimming" or write haikus (shout out to Alexis Ward). You are each a part of my story in specific ways that I am so intensely grateful for.

I daydream sometimes about the future which I imagine will include time to visit and call and write actual letters. And, yet, I wonder if there will ever be enough time to make up for all the catching up we need to do.

So, I just wanted you to know that you are still dear to me and that despite this crazy season of life that makes calling or writing or visiting or taking a shower (not relevant) so impossible sometimes, you are often on my mind.

And you are always in my heart.

I just made it awkward, didn't I. Well, I meant it. So, deal with it.

Sending you a virtual rib-crushing hug from my little part of the world.



  1. I miss you too!!! We currently have two puppies under 5 months old running around our house like crazy, tripping us and chewing on each other which is also terribly distracting and tends to make phone calls difficult. But, unlike children, when I'm tired of it I just lock them in a cage as a time out. I don't recommend this with Sam. Of course you always have a place to stay here in sunny San Diego. We'll take Sam to the zoo or Legoland and give Mae an big sun bonnet and watch her play in the sand. (yes, please) Until then, though, let's dream of being neighbors and sharing pans of brownies and cups of coffee while our kids quietly sit at a table and create masterpieces.

  2. I heart you, Alexis Ward. And double yes to all the above.

  3. Hilarious and yet so sweet at the same time, DL! I must admit to pushing the Mute button while talking to friends at times....they politely keep chattering as I preach some 'you really need Jesus right now' to the dear little ones on the other side of the phone. So, if you are a friend of mine and you think our abode is so nice and peaceful while I talk on the phone - thank heavens for the Mute button. ha!



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