Story by Whitney Ballard
You know what I love? Friends who don’t make this friend thing complicated.
People who don’t use the “you find out who your friends are” phrase passive aggressively.
I love friends who agree there’s no need for labeling.
The thing is, there are limitations to the kind of friend I can be.
Whoever says, “it’s not hard to text back” obviously doesn’t have a brain turned to mush like me.
So right now, more than ever, I’m thankful for friends who don’t have unrealistic expectations of me.
I won’t always be a phone call away;
sometimes I leave my phone inside so that it’s not a distraction when I’m spending time with my family.
I won’t always be there in the exact moment you may need me;
I really try but sometimes I’m fighting my own demons and I’m truly just surviving.
I won’t give you my undivided attention;
but I will listen to you vent between pushing babies on the swings.
I can’t promise to make it to the events you plan;
but I’ll surely try, or I’ll cheer you on in your endeavors while I rock a sick baby.
And I want my friends to know that I don’t expect any more from them.
If we go a whole year without talking much, we can pick up where we left off, like we never skipped a beat.
Even if we don’t get a word in between the cries and the screams, we can eat a meal together at a restaurant where strangers are ready for our crew to leave.
You don’t have to be like me.
You don’t have to love the things I do or have the same size family.
You don’t have to fill me in on every thing
but you could text me tomorrow and we could pack up and head to the park down the street.
Don’t you ever feel guilty
for not being around enough
because I’m fighting that same guilt that’s lost under my mom guilt and wife guilt and exhaustion and just everything.
So we may not be planning many girls’ nights this year or even remembering to text each other back regularly,
but just know that anytime you cross my mind,
in the midst of the chaos of every day,
I’m thankful for you, because right now,
above all else,
I need a friend who’s understanding.
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