Five Minute Friday – Friend

It’s Five Minute Friday, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker at The Gypsy Mama.  Five minutes of free writing flash mob goodness.

If you aren’t familiar, the rules are simple.  Lisa-Jo Baker gives a single word writing prompt every Friday.   Each of us have five minutes to write and post.  No editing, no second guessing, no fancy stuff.  Just plain writing – straight from the heart. (click HERE for the official rules and details).  Then we go visit other participants and shower them with comment love.

Last week, the word was JUMP

This week, the word is FRIEND.

five minute friday friendFive Minute Friday

Friend.

I see the word and the tears start streaming down my face.  Forgive me for typos.  I can’t see what I’m typing because the tears just won’t stop.

When I left my big-girl fancy pants job to become a stay at home mom, I left my friends behind. 

I started the hardest chapter of my entire life.  And I was alone.   I had two kids in diapers.  My mom was out of the country.  And then, just when it couldn’t get any worse, my husband’s job sent him to Asia for weeks at a time.

We were broke. I was alone. And it was awful.

The only reason I made it through that first year as a stay at home mom was because of MOPS.  I didn’t even belong to the church (or any other) at the time.  All I knew was that I had to do something.

Walking in to a room full of happy chatting women when I didn’t know a soul wasn’t easy.  I’m an introvert by nature. I’m anxious in large groups. I was exhausted and felt frumpy, particularly compared to some of the dazzling sparkly women in the room.

But I was desperate for the childcare.  So I went.

Over MOPS meetings and emails and playdates, I found companionship.

Somehow, I managed to continue to think of myself as friendless.

After two years (and joining the church) I agreed to serve on MOPS leadership.  I went to convention.  It was there, on the floor of our hotel room at the Gaylord Texan in my PJ’s, that I was introduced to Facebook.

I figured I’d only have 20 or so people that would friend me on Facebook.

Imagine my shock when there were over 100, each of whom I knew and liked in real life.

Somehow, I managed to continue to think of myself as friendless.

Years passed.  My kids grew until MOPS was no longer an option.

As they grew, they developed friendships of their own.  After a playdate where I’d spent the entire time chatting happily with the other mom, my youngest asked me a question.

GoGo:  Mommy, is she your friend?

Me: Honey, I don’t know. We’ve never talked about it.

GoGo:  Do you know her?

Me:  We’ve known each other since my first MOPS meeting.  That’s over five years.

GoGo:  I know you like her.  Do you trust her?

Me:  I trust her with my heart.

GoGo:  Mommy, she’s your friend.

friend definedWith that, my small wise one walked away.  He left me with tears streaming down my face.  I was shattered and undone. My son was right.  In a single moment, he’d exposed all the ugly lies I’d been telling myself.

For days, I re-ran the conversation in my head.  Over and over I heard that small boy’s voice in my head.  “Mommy, she’s your friend.”  Each time, I healed a little more and hurt a little less.

Only then could I open my eyes and see the truth.  I didn’t have just one friend. I had dozens.  I’d been missing out on a ton of lunch dates and playdates and girls night outs for no reason beyond my own fear.

I have friends.

STOP.

Five Minute Friday

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Oh, Susan! visiting from FMF, your child is indeed wise!. I have been in the same spot as you were- once upon a time- it\’s a hard place to be- alone when you don\’t want to be. What a wonderful opportunity you have now to make new friends. btw:i\’m at the other end of tx up by dallas 🙂

    • Nancy, I think there are a huge number of us that walk around feeling friendless. In my head I keep waiting for someone to pass me a note like happened in junior high. One that reads “will you be my bff? check yes or no.” Adult friendships aren’t like that, and it was really hard for me to see that I had friends.

      Hmm… I may have to make some “will you be my friend” cards to hand out. I bet I could make some friends very happy.

      Waiving big – I’m on the far north side of Houston so it’s not that far.

  2. Wow! Thank you Susan for sharing this. It is so easy to feel isolated and alone. It is freeing though to embrace friendships. Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Appreciate your sharing.

  4. Oh, Susan. I am typing through tear here myself. Your son is wise indeed. This was just *so* moving. (on top of that I can’t believe it took you 5 minutes. I’m in awe) –Lisa

    • I was bawling this morning. From the minute I saw today’s writing prompt I was just a total mess.

      As for taking five minutes, I’m always amazed at what a LOT of writers do with the prompts each week. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of. The first few times I participated, it was hard and my writing wasn’t pretty. But over time, I’ve learned to just write without the filter and trust my fingers. It’s crazy. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Melinda Stanton says:

    Wonderful! Do you really write in 5 minutes? Amazing. I always call you "my friend Susan, a blogger who lives in Houston." Thanks 🙂

    • You are “my friend Melinda, who I will have lunch with when I can.”

      On Thursday I make a draft post with the top and bottom part of the post. I premake some of the art so that it’s ready to add the magic word and a quote.

      Friday I wake up and look at the prompt. I dress and get the kids out of the house. Then I write. The stuff between start and stop takes five minutes. One minute more for art, one for formatting (insert art, add bold and quote formats). One last minute for SEO.

      I put less than 10 minutes, total. It feels like a day off!

      On one instance I wrote longer. I needed to see where the idea was going to lead. But I clearly marked it at the 5 minute mark.

      If I have to write when the kids are around, I give myself six minutes to write including their interruptions.

    • You are "my friend Melinda, who I will have lunch with when I can."

      On Thursday I make a draft post with the top and bottom part of the post. I premake some of the art so that it's ready to add the magic word and a quote.

      Friday I wake up and look at the prompt. I dress and get the kids out of the house. Then I write. The stuff between start and stop takes five minutes. One minute more for art, one for formatting (insert art, add bold and quote formats). One last minute for SEO.

      I put less than 10 minutes, total. It feels like a day off!

      On one instance I wrote longer. I needed to see where the idea was going to lead. But I clearly marked it at the 5 minute mark.

      If I have to write when the kids are around, I give myself six minutes to write including their interruptions.

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