What I Learned on Summer Vacation

This was, by far, the best summer ever.

1) We took our first beach vacation. First ever that wasn’t to visit family.
2) We threw a surprise birthday party for the girls.
3) I quit caffeine.
4) I discovered acupuncture. It’s a miracle.
5) I began walking with a friend regularly.
6) The girls went on a great girls retreat and made new friends.
7) Mercy joined the Volleyball team.
8) Small Fry took swimming lessons.
9) We traveled to visit family.
10) To see my great nephew.
11) So the two Chinese cousins could meet.
12) And there’s this…

Friendship. The definition of friendship has been at issue. For some time.

I hear a lot of people these days say, “My definition of [word] is…”

It makes me want to scream. It doesn’t matter how you define it. If we allow every person to redefine a word to their comfort or convenience, the culture is headed for collapse.

Friendship is defined.

The girls learned a lot about friendship.  A lifelong friend has moved on.  No fight.  Just growing apart.  There has been some misunderstanding as they develop their own friendships, where one of them is really particularly more connected to the friend than the sister.  And that’s fine.  We’re all going to live, for crying out loud.

I’ve learned a lot about friendship, too.  I’ve learned that when someone says they’ve been looking for, hoping for, praying for a friend, that may not mean they want to be my friend.  It may not mean that they don’t already have a hundred friends in line ahead of me.  Who love them, and have for years and do all the friend stuff.

I’ve learned that sometimes, someone can have a cool facade.  And they can be a marketing genius, but not friend material.  And they can call you unworthy of their friendship and convince you they’ve paid you a compliment.

I’ve learned that sometimes age doesn’t matter.  Common experience doesn’t matter.  That without you knowing why, someone will proverbially hold your hair while you figuratively vomit.

I realized that there are a lot of places you need a friend.  And not every friend is the right friend at the right time.  That’s why we need more than one.  The mall friend is not the hold-your-hair-while-you-vomit-after-chemo friend.  The stay up late at night talking friend is not the friend y9u can work side by side with until the job is done.

Friendships among women are fraught with barriers.  Inviting someone to coffee is not all there is to it.  I’ve learned that when you directly invite someone to friendship,  you can expect the response to be just as direct.  Positive or negative.

Not a big deal.  I’m 46.

Trying to explain about friendship to 16 year-olds.

While we all wait to find that friend.  Or to find that friend, again.





  1. Yes, yes, yes. Friendship of any kind can be tricky and can cause heartbreak and can also be a beautiful highlight to life.

    And not everyone falls in the category of “friend” for everyone.

    So glad y’all had such a great summer! Sounds like it was full and filled with lots of good stuff!

    (I’ve always wanted to try acupuncture!)

  2. jwilliams057 says:

    So much yes. And I’m glad that you had a great summer. And I hope this means that you will start writing again.

  3. Walking with friends is GREAT! I really love it. It’s not too strenuous so you can chat about absolutely EVERYTHING!

I love it when you sass me. Please leave a comment.

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