Thursday, March 26, 2015

Playing Peek-a-Boo From the Trenches

When I was a first time mommy, I can remember friends asking me, "How is it?" "How's it going?" I was one of the first of my close friends to get married and start a family. My response was always a positive, "Great! It's amazing!" not because I was trying to prove to everyone that I had it all together, but because I was genuinely oblivious of the hardships of motherhood. You do what you have to do and the rewards far exceed the difficulties. Money, finances, paying the bills, owning a home...oh. my. GOSH, home ownership! No body warns you about how difficult that is, and what's the reward? A roof over your heads? Just like you had before when you were renting? Yeah. Swell. But these are the difficult things. These are the things I stressed over, but motherhood? I was born to be a mother. It felt like the easiest, most natural thing ever. So, maybe I wasn't the best person to ask if you were looking a less biased response.

Fast forward to 2015 and 4 kids later. It's not so easy. The rewards are still immeasurable, but the difficulties...well, a little harder to overlook.

Every additional child somehow makes for double the laundry, so my laundry responsibilities have doubled FOUR times in the last 8 years. Each additional child means less time for cleaning but double the mess, more phone calls and appointments to make and less time to make them, more noise, less quiet. And each child comes with their own set of rules. This one can't be put on his belly or he'll scream til he pukes. This one needs to stay upright for 30 minutes after eating, or she pukes. This one won't drink day old breast milk...or he pukes. All the rules somehow involve puking.

Now I have four. I'm homeschooling two and trying to coax the third into sitting just long enough to color half a page. All the while trying to keep the fourth from...you guessed it...puking.

She is not going to be a basketball player, I'm certain. She couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with that puke. I need an adult sized bib to cover my chest and shoulders while burping her. As it is, I will use a large receiving blanket, because burp cloths are tiny and useless, and she will lean and scrape and crawl until she has the blanket pulled out of her way and a clear shot to vomit down between my boobs. On second thought, maybe she will be a baller, a scrappy one, and she likes a challenge.

And oddly enough, her "I'm gonna puke!" screaming and clawing is strangely similar to her "I need to eat!" screaming and clawing. Imagine an adult running around, frantically searching the cupboards for food right before puking. That's what life is like with her right now. And what's a mom to do when her new baby is clawing and scraping and rooting around for what I can only assume is sustenance? I feed her, and get rewarded with double the puke.

I could free up a lot of time in my days if she could keep her food down. Truth. 

So, it's harder to overlook all of that from the trenches, where I am outnumbered, trying not to get taken out by projectiles, and trying to keep everyone else calm. The days go by faster and slower all at the same time...like these never-ending days which somehow pass me by weeks and months at a time.

But then there's a slow, quiet lull, a moment for me to peak up over the trench, somewhat skeptical of my safety, and find my toddler lovingly wiping the spit up from the babies mouth while my two oldest read to her and bounce her in her chair. And I am reminded that the rewards still far exceed the difficulties, no matter how much laundry cleaning puke is thrown at me, because each additional child means double the love, so the love in my home has doubled FOUR times in the last 8 years. ;-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

From Charlotte to Charlotte: the Birth of a New Chapter

In the words of my husband, in his best mockery of LeBron James ever, "We have four kids; not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR kids!"


You see, this was the dream. When we began dating and discussing the things we wanted in life, we both knew that we wanted four children. However, our opinions on that changed after the third. I do not enjoy pregnancy, my body rebels against me during it. In fact, labor and delivery is easier on me than the actual pregnancy. And my babies aren't little, y'all!


So after our third child, we took a hard look at our family and tried to decide if we were ok with this. I was unsure. We seemed incomplete, but at the same time, I really didn't want to go through all of that again. I had been looking forward to getting back into shape, and playing some basketball again. Then, last spring, my sweet daughter cried to me about how much she wanted a little sister. We couldn't guarantee her one, of course, but as a gal with sisters of my own, it broke my heart that we may not even try to give that gift to our own daughter. My response to her, "Pray about it." After all, that's pretty much where her daddy and I were in the thought process ourselves.


Just a few months later, SURPRISE! We were actually visiting my sister in North Carolina when I had a sneaking suspicion that I could possibly be pregnant. Sure enough, it was confirmed just a couple weeks later. I will admit, I was a little concerned as to how my daughter would react if we found out we were having another boy, but she calmed my nerves just a couple of weeks before that ultrasound, "Mommy, I really want a sister, but I will love him if it's a brother too." Melt my heart!


Then, if you read The Anti-Climactic Gender Reveal, you know that my daughter was actually the very first to know that she would, in fact, have a little sister. So fitting.


So this past Saturday, February 28, our little surprise, and Chastity's answer to prayer, arrived. I spent the last few weeks of the pregnancy in excruciating pain from my back to my hips, to my knees and ankles. I could barely make it up our stairs. My husband and I continually expressed our excitement that this was almost over. "Ugh, I am never doing this again!"


Then, yesterday, as we pulled away from the hospital, and my husband was still expressing how awesome it is to be done with all of that, a very strange and unexpected feeling washed over me. Suddenly my annoyed and irritated, "Ugh, I am never doing this again!" turned into a sad inner panic of, "Oh my gosh! I am never doing this again!" As we drove off, the hospital disappeared into the distance and a slow motion reel of every birthing experience I had ever had played through my mind, from my C-section with Elijah to my first, miraculous VBAC with Chastity, to the amazing and shocking VBACs of Isaac and Charlotte, my 9lb 11 oz and 10 lb babies (ok, she was 9lbs 15.8 ounces, but give me that 10).


I don't want to be pregnant again. It probably wouldn't even be wise, knowing all the problems I just had with my body. However, knowing that a door is closed on that chapter of our lives we only dreamed about just a short time ago, brings waves of emotions and uncontrollable rolling tears to this face of a woman who just birthed a 10 lb baby without crying. Seriously.


Exactly 8 years ago, we were beside ourselves with joy in the very early stages of our first pregnancy. It was all new and exciting. We could still hardly believe we were married, let alone increasing in numbers! We were living in a small apartment in Charlotte, NC, when this exciting journey began, and our family took it's first steps. Now, our own little (big) Charlotte Hope, completes that journey, ending that chapter of our lives, and beginning a new one.


As I watch my husband play with the kids in the living room, while Charlotte sleeps peacefully in her chair, I know that this sadness for a time now gone may never fully go away, but I can comfort myself in knowing that she is not so much the end of a chapter, but rather, the beginning of a new one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Next Week on Seinfeld: The Unfriend

Have you ever witnessed a child handle a dispute? As a parent, have you ever removed yourself from a situation and just observed your children, with each other or with friends, solve a problem themselves? If you have not, I would encourage you to give it a try. The next time you feel you need to interfere with all your mom (or dad!) power, and break up a potential disaster, sit back and watch it unfold. It might surprise you!


Now, allow me to digress for a moment.


Maybe I'm too vocal. Maybe I'm too trusting. Maybe I believe far too much in the power of people's intelligence and abilities to see varying opinions and multiple sides of a story, but I have been the victim of the most powerful, most poignant, yet most passive aggressive diss this new generation has to offer, more times than I can count. This generation doesn't know about "diss." ;-)


I have been unfriended.


Repeatedly.


There are times I stumble upon it and I am pretty certain it wasn't personal. Someone I hardly talked with anyway, just cleaning up their friends list. I get it. But a vast majority of the time, it is because we have a difference of opinion.


I have even had someone once admit to me that their opinions of people change when they find out they disagree on a particularly passionate topic. What? Am I the only person who doesn't really understand that?


An article was recently released about how Tim McGraw will be losing fans because he has stepped out and shown his support for President Obama, and that's just a big country music no no among his more conservative peers. That is weird to me. Why would I suddenly stop supporting him as a musician just because we have a difference in political opinion? Is he less of an artist? Is he less of a husband? Is he less of a father? The latter two, of course, being things I don't know about him for sure, but have reason to believe that he's a pretty stand up guy.


I recently went to listen to Magic Johnson, an avid Obama supporter, speak at a local university. Does his support of a president I don't necessarily agree with make him less of a basketball legend? Am I less impressed by him as an individual? As a business man? No, this stuff all seems like nonsense to me.


And these are the things by which I am constantly judged by my peers. I am accused of not having an open mind, while my friends with different opinions than mine are deleting me left and right. I for one, am interested in human beings and their humanness, not the color of their skin, not their looks, not their opinions, but who they are. I deeply enjoy finding common ground, a common respect, or an understanding with some of the most unlikely people. Because, the truth is, no matter what our religious beliefs or political opinions, we are all people with people we love, with concerns for our futures, our families' futures. We don't have to constantly draw lines in the sand, or worse, burn bridges, with our friendships!


Back to the kids. I could write a book about all the lessons I've learned from my children, but watching them handle a disagreement is one of the most beautifully simple things I have ever witnessed. They do not always play in the same ways as others. They do not always want to do the same things as their friends, or even as each other. But they can vocalize that honestly, and then move on. It's like a miracle. Like huge "a-ha" moment miracle of epic friendship proportions. Wait. What? You mean it's ok to tell your friend, "I don't like that," "Don't do that," or "I don't want to do that right now," and then just go about your play like nothing happened? Do you mean to tell me that grudges aren't mandatory during these situations? What about the other friend, on the receiving end? She's just ok with that? Ok, maybe not always. Maybe sometimes, moms have to intervene to suggest a compromise. They are learning, after all, but I have witnessed my children come of an age that finally understands the meaning of a compromise, and turn taking, and sharing, and they resolve so many of these issues themselves, and then, get this, they still love each other and have a blast together! Truly miraculous.


At church a few weeks ago, I was speaking with my friend while our daughters played.
One to the other: I don't like that. Don't do that.
Other: Ok.
Then one suggested another idea that they do, and off they went, full of excitement!


I paused my conversation with my friend to ask her if she had just seen what I witnessed. We both laughed over the simplicity of it, and how that doesn't usually fly among adult friends. "Oh, you don't like that?" UNFRIEND! "Oh, you don't agree with me?" UNFRIEND! "That is not the way I would play that game." UNFRIEND! The ultimate diss. I imagine that a Seinfeld episode of today could do this small and brief story justice, don't you?


Life gets more complicated than games and toys and nicknames we may not like. That's for sure. But why do we insist on changing the simplicity of friendship? Hey, ya know what? I like you. No, wait, actually, I love you. I think you are an awesome human being. I think there is more to you than which way you vote. I think, in life and love, we probably have a lot in common, but we are allowed to be different. We're allowed to think differently. We're allowed to have problems. We're allowed to resolve them, and we're allowed, still, to disagree. But ya know what else? We're allowed to pick ourselves back up off the floor and have some fun together.


My dad always used to say to me, "People are like water. They seek their own level." If this stands true, then the level I seek is not the level of your political correctness or the level of your republican or democrat loyalties, or even the level of your sainthood. The level I wish to seek is the level of love...filled with cheese. Because who doesn't love that? :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mommy's Tears for a Broken Lolly Pop

I am 37 weeks pregnant, and a rare kind of emotional. Me. The athlete. I once played a quarter of a basketball game on a broken foot, a whole game on stress fractures; and contractions? Well, I'm never sure when they're real..until they're really real, because I can talk through them for hours, and they've never made me cry.

But today...today, I cried over a broken lolly pop. As we were walking into church, our greeter handed each of my children a little sucker, in honor of Valentine's Day week. We had hardly gotten to our seats, coats still on, when the kids were asking if they could have them. My youngest, Isaac, still in his minion hat, held the sucker up, eyes wide, "Peas?" in need of help getting it opened. Of course they could have their special treat, and maybe it would keep them calm and quiet during worship.

I obliged. I undid the wrapper on Isaac's sucker, only to have 3/4 of the thing crumble into my hand. My poor child! I couldn't give him the crumbles. A stick-free, hard candy is not something I'm ready to trust my 2-year old with. My heart broke for him, whose siblings were happily sucking on their whole suckers, while I handed him his 1/4 sucker, but that's not really what did me in folks.

He took the sucker. He didn't question the pieces in my hand, which I walked to the trash can. He didn't cry. He didn't complain. He took that 1/4 sucker with...get this...a smile. He was content to have any of it at all. My sappy, pregnant eyes welled up with tears as I watched his joyful reaction to something anybody else might have thrown a fit or shed a few tears about.

I imagined, briefly, how I would have handled that. It didn't take much imagination, since I have recently dropped chocolate on the floor, or in the sink, and immediately muttered something whiny like, "Are you kidding me? Seriously?" As though, in a string of horrible events of my day, that just takes the cake. 

Then I remembered how we got nearly every green light on our way to church today, but I inwardly acted profoundly annoyed with the one or two red lights we still got. I remembered how much I have complained these last 5 weeks, having a cold return about every week and a half, but haven't taken the time to be joyful that I am carrying a healthy baby, and I did NOT test positive for gestational diabetes. That's a big deal!

My ankle hurts, every day, but I have two feet on which to walk, and even run sometimes!
My basketball career ended prematurely, but look at this healthy, beautiful family, I wouldn't otherwise have!
It snows in Buffalo...like a lot, and often, fall and spring are non-existent, but our summers here are beautiful!
I could go on and on about all that lolly pop taught me today. 

How often do we focus on what we don't have, and forget to enjoy what we do have? Oh, the lesson I learned today from my sweet Isaac, so aptly named (he will laugh)! He finds joy in all occasions. He's been laughing, easily, since just days old, and he is incredibly grateful for the smallest of things, right down to that 1/4 lolly pop.

I, too, wish to be that thankful for all the things, even the broken. Lord, give me the grateful and joyful heart of a child! And may Isaac always find reasons to be so joyous and thankful!  

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Anti-Climactic Gender Reveal

Things always happen so naturally and beautifully...in my head. Much like today. I had this beautiful picture in my head of exactly how our family's gender reveal was going to go. For the first time, Jelani wasn't able to go with me. None of the available appointments worked with his schedule, so I went very early in the morning while he and the kids were still sleeping. I asked the nurse to please write it down, so I couldn't see it. In my head, we'd slowly open it, the anticipation just tickling us! The kids would be bouncing around in excitement waiting to hear, and as we'd pull open the envelope, we'd smile from ear to ear, no matter what, and hug and congratulate one another.

Oh, it just sounds perfect, doesn't it?

So I got up at 6 am this morning, got ready for my appointment, woke baby up with a little Earl Grey so we could get some cooperative photos, and went out to my 6:45 am appointment.

I've never began a Monday so beautifully. The nurse was informative and sweet, showing me every little detail. The baby moved rhythmically, in perfect timing for every photo she needed. We got great footage of the healthy beating heart, the beautiful brain, all the perfect little bones, and saw the most precious yawn. I was still imagining how beautiful our family's morning was going to be, as I arrived home with the magic envelope!

I was exhausted, but I smiled all the way home from the appointment. There's something truly beautiful in that moment of anticipation, in the not knowing.

I returned home to a quiet house. The kids were all still sleeping. Jelani was quietly getting ready for work.

I sat down to crochet, all the ultrasound pictures beside me, with the one telling picture tucked away in the envelope beside me. As the kids stirred and came downstairs, Chastity asked to see the pictures. Of course!

"Do you know yet if it's a boy or a girl?" she asked me.

"Not yet, but we're about to find out!" I explained, in far too little detail.

She sat down beside me, right next to the envelope, and begin looking through the string of pictures of baby's feet, head, and arms.

I couldn't get the internet to connect to the laptop, and I was trying to get the school lessons set up, so I took the computer over to the router to fix it, while Chastity still excitedly browsed the pictures. Just one minute before Jelani made his way downstairs, I heard, "Oh, Mommy, it's a girl! It says it right here." In a very quiet, very nonchalant voice from my daughter who had been praying for a sister for months. And in a tone that said, "Didn't you see this?"

In a split second of horror, I realized my moment was gone! That beautiful moment I'd imagined so thoroughly in my head...poof...thin air.

"Oh, Chastity! You weren't supposed to open that yet! That was supposed to be a surprise!" I said, before thinking, while silently cursing the moment I'd taught her to read.

She burst into tears.

Now my moment was gone, her moment was stolen, and Daddy still hadn't made his way downstairs.

I immediately backtracked, "Oh, sweetie, you're not in trouble! Don't cry! It wasn't your fault! You're going to have a SISTER!!!! Yay!!" I got the hint of a smile from her, as Daddy came downstairs.

"Would you like to know what we're having?" I laughed.

"Do you know? I thought you were going to wait for me."

"Yes, well..." I briefly recounted the morning's quick, unraveling events. Having already missed all the excitement, he looked at the pictures, ate his breakfast, and went to work.

We can't expect that our lives are going to get any more predicable, or that our moments are going to

always ever go as planned, but they will always be our moments to hold dear, and we are perfectly excited to know even more about our final little treasure! 



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Camera Ready or Not

I've always wanted 4 children, ever since I can remember thinking about the children I might one day have...back in high school. Four seemed appropriate; not too many, not too few, everyone has a buddy. There have been times throughout our marriage, my husband and I weren't sure we'd have 4. I've had a lot of discomfort during pregnancies, I tend to gain a lot of weight, we've had financial hardships, and frankly, I just don't like being pregnant.

With each pregnancy, I held out hope, hope that one of my 4 might just be a cute pregnancy; hope that I might, just might, have one of those all-belly, skinny everywhere else, can't tell I'm pregnant from behind or in head shots pregnancies.

It didn't happen with the first. It didn't happen with the second, even though I worked out and walked regularly throughout. And it didn't happen with my third, even though I played basketball well into the second trimester.

Then, for the first time ever, I became pregnant before losing the previous weight. My first concern was to hear the healthy heartbeat of the baby. Having had a miscarriage just 9 months prior, it was a concern I'd never known before. A miscarriage never even occurred to me or entered my brain...until I'd had one. But then, a very close second concern was, "Crap! I'm already overweight. This pregnancy is going to be my most hideous yet!" Yeah, I'm a fabulous mom, I know.

Of course, I started showing almost immediately. I put on weight during that first trimester just like always. It was embarrassing to have people think I was much farther along than I actually was, asking me, at about 14 weeks, "Do you know what you're having?" or even worse, thinking I was due this fall.

Greeeeaaaaat. I became much like a hermit, only going to church and attending things I'd already committed to, and I wasn't sure I was ever going to let the Facebook world know of this pregnancy. Come February, I'd just post a picture of the new little one all nonchalant like, "I'm so crafty, lookie what I made!"

Then, when I finally decided to let my Facebook friends in on our little secret, I wanted to use pictures of each of my pregnancies to announce this fourth one. And ya know what I discovered? There's not a single pregnancy picture of me with Isaac, our third. I remembered my mom trying to take some and my refusal, because I couldn't stand the look of my face, and how my whole body looked pregnant, from my toes to my hair. I hated my face, in particular, and how when I would smile, my cheeks themselves, all swollen and rosy, looked like they were about to give birth to a family of elves.

It occurred to me, that no matter how little I actually enjoy pregnancy, it produces my greatest joy, and to not have any proof of the love I had for them, in my being, is heartbreaking. Poor little Isaac. :( So today, I (me, I did it, I organized it, my idea, mine), planned a family portrait for us while apple picking. My mom was more than happy to photograph us, and I didn't hide every time she pulled up the camera. I smiled, I laughed, I embraced the family of elves living in my cheeks and cherished this moment with my growing family.





 I'm 19 weeks and huge, and I'll be just fine. Baby is healthy, I am healthy, and we find out the gender on Monday. My husband thinks I'm beautiful, my children think I'm pretty, and their love can conquer all of my insecurities.







Besides, for the first time in my life, I can actually say this; when am I ever going to experience this again? Never. This is it, the last hoorah, the final piece to the Greene puzzle, and I'm not going to keep running from it. There will be plenty of time for dieting, and running, and being fit and fabulous after the elves, I mean babies, ;-) no longer need my body for their growth.

From this moment on, I will stop allowing moments to pass me by just because I don't believe I'm camera ready, and I challenge you to do the same! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Letter from a Bad Friend

I, for one, have never been a big fan of seeing everyone's relationship dramas play out on Facebook. Marriage, engagement, and dating are the first that come to mind. But posting about how bad our friends are is an ongoing and consistent trend from even those who are private about their other relationships. Even Zooey Deschanel is sharing blogs about the 12 Signs It Might Be Time For a Bestie Breakup.

And listen, I'm not here to tell you what you can and cannot say or post on Facebook. That's totally up to you. I just think that when it comes to friendships, our expectations are really inconsistent, and often outrageous, and maybe a touch hypocritical.

I am the bad friend who forgets to call.
I have three kids and a husband, a house to clean, and three meals a day to make and clean up after. Before this life there were jobs with odd hours. Before that life, there was basketball and school which was a full-time + overtime job. I have never intentionally avoided someone, but different seasons of my life have called for different priorities. It never meant I stopped caring about my friends.
I am the bad friend who prioritizes her husband and family ahead of you (in many, but not all, circumstances.)
Ummm, there's something wrong with a family in which the BFFs are constantly taking precedent over the spouses and children, right? Even in a dating relationship, many are dating with intent to see about a future. Now if the guy is all bad for your girl friend and causing her to make horrible life decisions, that may be different, but ladies, try to understand the life changes that occur when your friend falls madly in love with someone they want to create a life with.
I am the bad friend who often uses social media as her main form of communication.
I'm home all day, every day, with three loud kids. During the school year, I am their teacher, and I often forget to even turn my phone or ringer on until afternoon. But the computer is always on for walk-bys, and I try to communicate as much as I can on there. It doesn't mean you're not important enough for a phone call. It just means phone calls are often a frustrating task in my household. Ask my own sisters how often I call them!  
I am the bad friend who will be honest, even if you don't like it.
I like the truth. I appreciate the truth, and I will always try to be honest, even if it is hurtful. I often ask questions people don't like because of that as well. If you can't have an honest conversation with a friend, then things are pretty superficial, in my opinion.
I am the bad friend who often gets wrapped up in her own mess and may, selfishly, forget to ask about yours. 
I admit it. I am selfish sometimes. I am tired, or I'm so worried about something going on in my own life that it's often all I can think about. Haven't we all been there? No, it's not all about me. I don't ever expect it to be all about me, but sometimes, my brain gets stuck. Don't be offended by momentary lapses. We're all allowed to be a mess sometimes and sometimes, for some people, those messes last longer than others.

I am all of those things. And, if we're being honest, you probably are too.

I have spent years calling myself a "bad friend," and believing it, because I have never fully been able to meet all the expectations that come with the fun moniker, BFF.

But those are almost always unfair expectations to ask of anyone. Your bff shouldn't ever be your everything. It is ok to have lives and even close friends outside of each other. It should be ok if you miss a few phone calls here and there; even ok if they are sometimes one-sided. And it is OK if you disagree on things. Different seasons of our lives are going to provide different amounts of time for each other, and I think friends should understand that and be able to reconnect at any time. That doesn't mean your friends are never going to be without fault. No one is perfect, so no relationship will ever be perfect, but why oh why, do we not lend our friends the same forgiveness and consideration we would lend a significant other?

Ladies, I have seen y'all go through Hell and high water to forgive a man for horrible things; abuse, adultery, good old fashioned condescension and inconsideration, and yet, we can't forgive each other for minor mistakes, and often, completely unintentional ones. 
Nobody reads minds. Hardly anyone who has ever unintentionally hurt someone, realizes they have done so if you don't tell them. And when you tell them, don't expect an automatic apology, but a give and take conversation. Often our own behaviors are reactions to hurts as well, so you may have hurt them too! Keep in mind that your emotions may be your reality, but that doesn't make them truth.

So your friend made you feel like this, and you posted it on Facebook.
Just because they may have unintentionally made you feel that way, doesn't mean they actually feel that way about you. Maybe they're going through a lot, and just know they can turn to you. It could just be a season of your friendship, but if you're starting to feel bitter about it, talk to them.

I've had friends who were there through the good times, when I was a college basketball prospect and then player, with a lot of potential, and people knew who I was. They sort of disappeared when that all came to an end and I became "just a stay at home mom," struggling financially and struggling with my own identity. Most people don't know this, but I really struggled through my first year as a mom. I felt very alone and unsure of myself, and for years I felt like friendships ended because I was just no longer "cool" enough. I didn't have enough to offer them. And it wasn't fun hanging out with a new mom who was tired and cranky, and whipping her boobs out every couple of hours. My feeling that way, doesn't make it true. It was a new life I was unused to, and I may not have even known how to be a good friend at that time myself. Life happens, people and friendships change, and that is OK. We shouldn't go around pointing fingers, assigning blame, or playing passive aggressive Facebook games. Doing any of those things will only prevent you from ever reconnecting down the road, past the seasons of busy-ness in your lives. It's as if we're not ok with the uncertainty, so we make good and sure it's over.

I can't help but notice that women struggle with these things so much more than men. Men don't get all bent out of shape if they don't hear from each other all that often. They don't assume they've been ditched or replaced, or that it's been done out of spite. They pick right up where they left off the next time they talk. "Oh, sorry I missed your birthday man. That was a crazy week." "You missed my birthday? No big deal. I was out with friends all day anyway. How've you been?" And the thing is, they really mean it. It's not a fake, "No big deal," while they spitefully plan to intentionally miss your next birthday. We women, myself included, need to stop battling each other inside our own heads! Stop letting our own emotional struggles and insecurities effect the way we feel about our friends.

No relationship is completely one-sided, or it wouldn't be one at all, and no argument, misunderstanding, or fight, is ever the complete fault of one person. There are always multiple sides to a story, so let's not all try to assume the worst.

Signing off and hoping to remember (and find the quiet time) to call my sisters tonight.

Yours truly,

The Bad Friend