Sometimes a girl has to drive four hours away to gain clarity about the realities under her nose….
As we sat every night sipping hot tea with honey and nibbling delicate cookies, our conversation fell right in step with where it had left off a year or so ago. I found comfort in my friend’s presence, in her home that I had never seen. I found comfort when I discovered she had three places in her kitchen reserved for chocolate–a section in the refrigerator, a corner of the pantry, and a space in one of the cabinets–and that the young teenaged girl who always supplied the treats for our weekend spend-the-night parties had not changed when she grew up.
And as we talked and reminisced about high school and friends whose paths we had not crossed in years, amidst the medicine cups and tubes that served as a reminder for my visit, I realized that I had my true friend for whom I was yearning. She just lived four hours away.
As I played with her little boy, I saw my son and my daughters in his face. In his laugh that filled his body with delight, and in his moments of defiance, I saw that while each child is a unique gift from God, each is also the same. I found comfort as a mother in these moments of watching him. I found comfort when I observed my friend hug her son tenderly and patiently guide him down the path of obedience, this young teenaged girl now grown up with her own child.
And as I watched and observed I realized things that I needed to do differently with my own children and things that could stay the same. I could see them and their little hearts clearly now that I was four hours away.
I hugged my friend tightly with bitter-sweet emotion the night before I left, not wanting to leave behind our chats over tea, but anxious to embrace three little people and their daddy. I loaded the car the next morning and began my drive down the interstate–four hours down a stretch of highway that looked a little clearer on the journey home.