Even though this is a sewing blog, I cannot write about something this close to my heart without including a lot of personal information. In various posts, in order to explain the project or the situation, I have and will continue to mention a group of women who have played an integral part of my life since 1977. We are not, as one new acquaintance assumed, a group who attends plays together.
We are a group of women who first gathered one morning in 1977 so that our children could play together.Weddings, bridal and baby showers are sponsored by the entire group and they have all been fabulous events. These and other occasions have includedÂ a significant amount of my sewing, some creative, some purely utilitarian.Â Many of these projects will be featured in posts on this blog.
When my first child was just three years old, I was blessed with an invitation to be a charter member of a new group of like-mindedÂ stay-at-home moms.Â The group’s original goal was to give our single, first born children an opportunity to socialize. Once a week, we took turns serving as hostess in our homes, and though soon there were more children, the number of mothers remained the same. The children played or fought or nursed or slept under the watchful eyes of 8 mothers. For the moms, therapy began upon arrival. It was the highlight of the week for all of us, including the children.
“Where would you be without friends?Â The people who pick you up when you need lifting?Â We come from homes far from perfect, so you end up almost parent and sibling to your friends–your own chosen family.Â There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend.Â Nothing.”Â Jennifer Aniston
Nothing except 7 such friends.
The eight of us gathered in the morning for years and years, until all the children were in school andÂ several of us had returned to the workplace.Â This diverse group now includes a gourmet cook, university media specialist, the assistant manager of a major airport, several educators–1 teacher of high school English and drama, 1 teacher of severely emotionally handicapped children, 1 teacher of retarded children, 1 teacher of varying exceptionalities–and now, a sewing blogger.Â Among these sameÂ womenÂ are a cross stitcher, a quilter and the author of the first book on shadow embroidery –Mary Hale, Shadow Work published by Martha Pullen.Â But for many years now, I have been the onlyÂ passionate needleworker.
Once our daytime availability was used up, weÂ began meetingÂ for dinner every other week,Â sometimes in restaurants, sometimes in the home ofÂ a PGMÂ in the mood to cook.Â Â We still do.
Together we have laughed, cried, worried and prayed our way through life’s struggles, Â celebrations and tragedies, always coming away at the end of the evening or event a little stronger for having shared time and balm of friendship.
Between the eight of us, we have 23 children. In celebration terms, the tally is 7 local weddings and more baby and bridal showers than I can count. At this time, we still have four unmarried daughters, in addition to several bachelor sons. SoÂ more celebrations are upcoming.
This list says it all for me and I hope it speaks to you.
Get yourself some girl friends.
Girlfriends choose each other. Over the years girlfriends have blessed my life. And here is what I have learned about them:
Girlfriends don’t compete.
Girlfriends will bring casseroles and also scrub your bathroom or all floors when you are sick.
Girlfriends will keep your children, and they will keep your secrets.
Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it.
Sometimes you take it, sometimes you don’t.
And it makes no difference..either way.
Girlfriends don’t always tell you that you are right.
Girlfriends might send you a birthday card, but they might not. And if they don’t it does not matter in the least.
Girlfriends laugh with you and you sometimes need absolutely nothing to start the laughter.
Girlfriends don’t talk about you behind your back.
Girlfriends help you out of jams, the dumps, and the blues.
Girlfriends don’t keep a calendar that lets them know whose turn it is to do what.
Girlfriends will give a party for your son or daughter when they get married or have a baby in whichever order that comes!
And girlfriends are there for you in an instant, and truly… when the hard times come.
Girlfriends listen when you lose a job, a husband, or anyone dear to you.
Girlfriends will listen when your children break your heart, and will hold you when you cry.
Girlfriends will listen when your parents’ minds and bodies fail, and cry with you.
When girlfriends are young, they have no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead of them. Nor do they know how much they will need each other.
Young women today should take this advice. “Get yourself some girlfriends.”
You’re gonna need them.
Do you have a support network?Â Does it include sewing?Â I would love to hear about any similar groups.