I have a soft spot in my heart for sandpipers. I watched this little guy (or little girl? How does one tell? I spent the better part of a semester in college determining the sex of roly-poly bugs – a story for another time – but the sex of the sandpiper eludes me.) do his thing on the beach for quite a while. I love how they run along the shore, avoiding the waves. I like to make sound effects when I watch them. It’s weird, I know. I’m an odd bird myself, I guess.
It wasn’t until I heaved myself off my beach chair to take some photos that I realized this particular sandpiper was missing a foot. Watching him more closely, I could tell that he wasn’t the speediest sandpiper I’ve ever seen. He had a little gimp. I liked him even more. I have a little gimp, too, and I’m not the speediest bird either.
The chance to observe sandpipers in the surf came courtesy of my annual Girls’ Trip. This is the sixth year I’ve met up with my original playgroup friends. We used to all live within walking distance of each other, now we are scattered across different states. Our kids, which brought us together when we were all still changing diapers, don’t really know each other anymore. It’s okay, though. They have their own friends to make now. We, however, are forever friends.
Mike’s commented many times that I have a lot of friends. And it’s true – between high school and college, stints in Nashville and Indy, through the blog and school and moms’ groups – I know a lot of people and make friends pretty easily. I’m easy-going and amicable. I’m always up for getting out and meeting somebody. If I want to do something, there’s almost always someone I can call.
But these girls, along with a few other close friends, they are my rock. Like the sandpiper, they see my gimp and the broken parts and they love me all the more. I need them like the sandpiper needs the water and the tasty little ocean treats. We only see each other once a year. We’re not big e-mailers or letter-writers or phone-callers. But that year goes by and we find each other again and it’s like 3 days, not 365, have passed.
Some years, the 365 days in between have been pretty crappy. Jobs are lost, finances are tight, spouses are bickering, kids are fraying every last nerve, parents are ill. And then it’s three days in April. We’re together once more. The sun and the warmth of our friendship gets into to all those dark places and we’re good again.
Thanks girls, for being the best friends this odd-bird-gimpy-girl could have. Until next year …