Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Meeting friends at Target.

I wouldn't advise it. It could be dangerous. However, it did work out great for me! It's funny. I can't imagine meeting her in any other way. Our friendship has never been "normal". I mean that in a good way! So because I told you I would share, here is our story...

Matt and I were in Target one day with Jolie, who was 2 and Asher, who was 6 months old. We were shopping around for nothing in particular when a sweet and handsome little boy, who I thought to be at least 3 or maybe 4, ran around the corner. We smiled at him as his mother came walking, (well, waddling) around the corner. She was VERY pregnant and looked kind of exhausted. Being in the Texas Panhandle where there are no strangers, we began to talk. As we talked my little girl and her little boy, who I found out was actually just a giant 2-year-old, began to play together. I instantly felt a connection with this clam yet weary mommy. But what really got my attention was how our kids played together. There was no fussing or fighting or drama. These babies were taking turns and being kind to each other. That was big for being two-year-olds!

I can't even remember what we talked about. I am sure it was something about babies and maybe a little about what our husbands were into. But all I know is that we connected.

The story could have ended there. I would have had a lovely conversation with a nice girl and went on about my business. Lucky for me, it didn't end there. Michelle and I, though we never mentioned it to each other, were both very lonesome for friends. So, as we said good bye, I kept the warm feeling of our conversation in my heart as we finished our shopping. We had a few things to pay for and so we headed to the front. When I pulled out my wallet to pay, I saw my new friend at the register across from us. She happened to be checking out at the same time. We looked at each other and laughed. Then, as we gathered our stuff to go, Matt noticed that she was struggling to carry out some big tubs so he offered to help her out to her car. We walked out together listening to our silly little kiddos talk to each other.

We exchanged a few more words as I stopped at my car. Matt left me to load the kids and followed her to her car. Turns out, she was parked right across from us! We laughed again at the coincidence. Matt loaded her tubs and said good bye. I was sitting in the car watching with the warm feeling still in my heart. Matt got in the car and began to pull out. I stopped him. Then I asked, "Do you think she would think that I was weird if I asked for her number." I had never asked a girl for her number before.

Matt said, "Why would she think you are weird?" Apparently he was quite comfortable with the whole asking for numbers thing.

"I don't know. She might think I'm desperate." I whined.

"You are desperate. Just go ask her." Matt said. He was right. I needed someone kindred. I had been a lonesome mom for too long. I needed a friend. So before she could get away, I ran over to her and said something awkward like, "I think you're cool, wanna hang out?" To my surprise, she was just as happy as I was! She said that she had been kicking herself for not asking for my number. I relaxed a little, got her number and gave her a hug goodbye. It was simple, and sweet. God had been gracious to us. He had bought us together in a unique way at the perfect time.

In the months that followed we had a hard time connecting. She had a baby, I had some medical issues. Her husband was immersed in his job as a youth pastor, mine was working shift work. It was dang hard to start up this friendship. But after a slow start, we began getting our kiddos together regularly. It was SO MUCH FUN! Our kids still got along great and we had so much in common. (Though we are very different.) We always joke about how, in the beginning, I thought that she was secretly a single mom. For the first couple of weeks she kept telling me that I would meet her husband. Then she would have some great excuse as to why he could not show up this day or that day. It was all very fishy.

Finally, at Joshia's 3rd b-day party, we met the elusive John.  I think he was afraid of us.  There was very little eye contact and just one or two grunts of hello.  Over the course of the evening, John and Matt played Chucky Cheese games with the kids and apparently did a bit of bonding.  (They are now as good of friends as Michelle and I.)  After the party they invited us to their house for awhile.  We accepted and the rest is history!

 We have been through lots together.  Sickness, job losses and changes, homeschooling, two-year-olds, the lost of a parent, the loss of a child, work troubles, church troubles, angry pregnancies (sorry chelley) and life-changing choices.  We have cried together, argued, cooked for each other, cared for each others kids, given each other space and forced one another to talk.  There has never been another friend who has given me as much grace or as much grief!  She doesn't let me get away with anything.  She makes me challenge what I believe and think twice about things I say.  It's a sharpening relationship.  It's a safe and familiar relationship.

Our lives have given over to the business of children and the grasping at these little ones who are trying to grow up.  We both have a hard time leaving our families.  So we don't get to see each other as much as we did before.  But when we do get to see each other, we cherish our time.  One day, our families will need us less and we will need each other more.  John and Matt will go to the canyon for a hike.  Michelle and I will head to the coffee shop to look at magazines and talk about life.  There will always be something to talk about or to talk through.

God, thank you for bringing me this friendship.  I know this was your plan.  You have enter-twined our families lives so that we could leave if we tried.  Thank you for this like-minded family who helps to make our journey more interesting.  Bless them in their future and cover them with your Spirit here in the present.  And Lord, thank you for using an ordinary store to begin a very un-ordinary relationship.

We love you crazies!  For every one else, I would love to hear about where you met your best friend.  Everyone has a story.  Tell it to us!   


Anonymous said...

One of the best stories ever! I'm so glad God puts friends in our life when we need them. He's done that for me when I was so down that I thought things couldn't get any worse. Thanks for sharing that story...If I have time I'll share my story!!! I love you Chelle. Aunt Pam

shelby said...

This was a sweet sweet to read things like this especially between women because sometimes they are so katty towards each other. This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy instead-God is good!!! love it

Marie @ Chocolate-Covered Chaos said...

Thanks for visiting me through Heavenly Homemakers' recipe link up. I'm so glad you did...I'm your newest follower:)
I love this story about how you met your best friend. I met my best friend 8 years ago when we enrolled our oldest children in the same preschool. My youngest (at the time) was one year old and ran to her and grabbed her leg, thinking she was me. We laughed and decided to take a walk while our kiddos were having preschool. We had so much in common, and now we're even neighbors. I love how God gives us exactly what we need when we need it!

littlewifeontheprairie said...

Marie-I love that story! It's amazing how hard we try to make things perfect and the God just puts something so natural in our paths! Thanks for visiting me and commenting! BTW-I love your blog title! Sound like my life.

Shelb- Such sweet words. It hurts me that women are so competative. I want us to be more supportive of each other! Love you girl.

Aunt Pam- I can't wait to hear your story! Let's go to lunch and you can tell me all about it!

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Such a great story - I'm not going to start creepily stalking for friends at Target. Which will probably end with me having not so much new friends as lawsuits.

My best friend? 12th grade English class. Sadly not nearly as interesting a story. Still, I'll keep her.

littlewifeontheprairie said...

LOL Megan! I have a BF from HS that I still keep in touch with. She is in Alaska now so we will have to make due with e-mail! Love those life-long friends.

Anonymous said...

what a fun story! thanks for stopping by my blog- and for introducing me to yours :)

Brandon and April said...

yay for friend's blogs! glad you stopped by ours so I could find yours! your story is cute of how you found your friend. gotta love Target. one stop shopping...for all your shopping needs. including new friends!

Alyssa said...

That is a beautiful story. I only hope I can find a friend like that in my new(ish) surroundings.