Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


"Where are you going?" the kids asked as they watched me pack a suitcase on Friday.

 I beamed ear to ear.  "I'm going on a Mommy sleep over!" I chirped excitedly, ready to hit the road and head for Park City.  Our Relief Society had planned an overnight women's retreat, and I was looking forward to 18 hours of food, fun, and friendship.

A few years ago, this scenario would have filled me with dread.  I have never belonged to a group of female friends, preferring instead to be the honorary female accepted as part of an otherwise all-guy group of friends (the wolfpack about which I theorized back in 2011.)  I have never felt confident navigating the waters of "girlfriends," too afraid of... well, of what I can't say for certain.

But then a wayward text changed everything.

At the time, Amy was an acquaintance I knew from being in the same ward, attending the same book club, and from casting her son in a few productions.  One April day, Amy texted her best friend Janene, inviting her to go to the new Nicholas Sparks movie, The Lucky One.

Meanwhile, I got a surprise text... a message from Amy inviting me to go to the new Nicholas Sparks movie, The Lucky One.   I sure didn't expect it!  I mean, girls never invited me to do stuff.  I got all geeky and excited the way I do, and although I was ridiculously nervous, I accepted the invite.

The movie was playing at a Bountiful theater, and since Skye was managing the Sizzler up there, I figured he could hook us up with some discount dinner, too.  Amy and I made a date of it, and we quickly became friends.

She didn't tell me until over a year later that the text was never meant for me, or that she had desperately tried (to no avail) to get Janene to attend, too.

Unlike me, Amy is constantly surrounded by a close-knit group of mom friends.  There's the Zumba crew, her Bunco group, and the eat-out posse just to name a few.  And being friends with Amy meant a seat at each of those tables and a warm welcome from the women who were more than happy to bring one more into the fold.

Being friends with Amy means receiving invitations to events like "Megan's husband is out of town and she doesn't want to cook, so we're going to Winger's" or "we're going to a movie right now - we'll pick you up."  Being friends with Amy means that she and Janene show up at my house on a Sunday with Arby's because they noticed I wasn't at church and were worried about me.  Being friends with Amy means that when we choose to stay up all night playing games, she might randomly announce to the table that "when you get to know her, Andrea is actually really cool."  And then laughing together as everyone makes fun of what a complement that really wasn't.

But the best part about being friends with Amy is that she has taught me how to be friends with more than just her.  She has helped me branch out and realize how wonderful women in general are.  She has taught me that there is something incredibly sustaining about having a group where literally no topic of conversation is off the table and where someone probably understands exactly the trial you happen to currently be going through.

I explained to Amy yesterday between Park City outlet shopping and lunch at a Mexican restaurant that I still feel a bit like a guest in Amy's group (my own fault for sure, not that of the ladies we hang out with) but that in another year or two I'll probably wonder how I ever navigated motherhood without this kind of support.

And so on Mother's Day, I just want to give a shout out to all the incredible ladies I have gotten to know over the last 3 years and to all the others with whom I am certain to become friends in the future.  You are incredible people, each with diverse talents and equally unique challenges.  Knowing you has made me a better wife and better mother, and I also know you're helping me become a better person.

Thanks for listening to me recite prepositions at 3:00 a.m., for never telling me I talk too much, and for seeming to genuinely enjoy the real me.  Having the title of Mom seems so much more special when I think about the incredible women with whom I share it.

Sappy?  Hmm... maybe I should have slept a bit more at the retreat!