Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Takes a Posse Village

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of a group of women who love each other so intensely and have such a good friendship. We have a mutual respect for each other and support each other through it all. But, here's the thing--it's more than just a regular friendship.

We are a FAMILY.

We jokingly say we "activate Posse powers" when needed, but in reality, that is really what we do. When one needs something, someone steps up. This is who we are. It's what we do.

Let me give you specific examples:

  • When Maggie was first born, I only had childcare three days a week. I can't tell you how often she spent a Tuesday or Thursday with Deb's husband Brandon babysitting in the morning while she worked and then Deb in the afternoon when he left for work.
  • At the lakehouse, we watch all our children together. We love those kids so much and all of us take care of them.
  • When the twins were born, Andrew and I both babysat Deb's older kids so she could go to the NICU. Before Deb could drive, I would drive her to the hospital while Andrew babysat with Maggie at the house.
  • When Jen's baby girl was close to being born and the adoption process happening, all of us lunched with birth mom J and took her out to dinner. Turned out to be the night before Coco was born! All of us dropped everything to be there for a special party/reception for J and her family after the adoption was finalized. I will never forget standing beside Amy with tears streaming down both our faces as we listened to Jen thank J for the gift of this baby.
  • We try to attend all birthdays for the kids.
  • This summer, Andrew and I went through a tough time. There was a day when I didn't go to work, barely got out of bed, and felt like my world was crumbling. Deanna showed up on my doorstep with candy, movies, lunch, and hugs. That night, Deb had everyone over at her house for more of the same.
  • If Jen's computer has an issue, she calls Andrew immediately. Faster than he will come to my office to fix a computer issue, he'll head over to Jen's to take care of the problem.
  • This summer, three of the husbands loaded up their tool boxes and headed over to Deanna's to paint walls, repair broken things, and even put up a new mailbox, stepping in as surrogate husbands.
  • Brandon works nights which often means Deb can't get away. So, when we're in desperate need of girl time, Andrew babysits for us. Two weeks ago, he babysat all five children so we could go out on a Wednesday night.
  • When the decision was made that Tracey and Rich were moving here, they told us there would be a time when they would be a split family. Rich would have to begin working here while Tracey and the kids would stay back in Austin. No one hesitated. We eagerly opened our homes to seriously the easiest houseguest even (I even cooked him a horrible dinner which he still doesn't let me down).
  • We schedule girls nights for all birthdays. When I turned 30 almost two years ago, the gno was planned for a Sunday night. I know Tracey couldn't come with living in Austin, so didn't expect her at all. But, as I finished hugging Amy, I looked over at the bar to see Tracey waiting for me to recognize her. She wasn't going to miss that milestone in my life, even taking the next day off from work to be there.
  • At the Heroes for Children 5K, I can look out in the crowd each year when I'm on stage and see my girls smiling back at me. Off to the side are the husbands and the kids, letting the women have our time together. I feel stronger when I look out and see Debbie, Deanna, Amy, Tracey, and Jen. They make me better.
  • Poor Jen was sick with a stomach bug this weekend. Rich (there is a reason he has the nickname Saint Richard), came to pick up her kids and bring them back to his house. He and Tracey were sick themselves, but they did it.
  • We respond to each other with words of encouragement via Twitter every day.
  • Someone texts someone else every day (seriously, unlimited text messages--a MUST with this group)
  • Deanna hurt her back yesterday. She called me in excrutiating pain asking if I could bring dinner to her and the kids because she couldn't get out of bed. Maggie had dance and insists that *I* am the one who takes her each week. So, naturally, I did what made sense--sent Andrew instead. He took one look at her and sent her to her room while he fed the kids and got them to bed.

You see? FAMILY. We may not always see eye to eye or handle things in the same way. We have different backgrounds and have been known to get into it a few times, but we are a family. We step up to the plate when necessary. We take care of each other. We're there.

And my life is better because of them. All of them and our beautiful kids.


Anonymous said...

Jen what wonderful words to your best friends. you all have a close bond and are family. Thats great to have people in your lives like that. Being a military family its hard cause people come and go. u are all so lucky

Donna said...

You guys have a truly special family. May it last several lifetimes.

*Lissa* said...

How special! What an amazing, awesome bunch you are!

anniemcq said...

I feel so lucky to have met you all. What a beautiful tribute to your incredible friendship.

ViolinMama said...

I LOVE this!!! So cool. This is how our Mommy Group has become....and HOW AWESOME!!

I'm so glad for you guys! Much love!

~~Mel~~ said...

Friendships like you have with your girls are rare...I'm glad you found it in them and I'm equally glad that I have two besties myself that I can count on no matter what time of day it is!

Devine Photography said...

and this doesn't even begin to cover it. How about you guys taking my girls at a moments notice, Amy and Jen showing up to the hospital when my Dad's surgery went totally awry, Deb and Brandon bringng the twins to the hospital to cheer me up, Tracey talking me off of many ledges and that's just on my end. This is a very special group of ladies and I don't know how I have been so blessed to be included. Love you all more than words.

Crabby Tabby said...

***jealous*** sigh...

Tracy said...

beautifuly written! You are blessed to have each other!

Amy said...

What a blessing. I think you guys make me a better person.

LeighAnn said...

Awesome, emotionally touching post but I sit here in tears b/c I have the same relationship with 4 other women (The Noldan 5), but we've recently been separated by thousands of miles. We are all Army wives and 2 of them just moved away. Relationships like this are so very hard to come by and just can not be replaced. It's such a unique, special bond. Hey, and you get to hand-pick this "family"!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone has said. You are indeed blessed and what you all have is very rare. I have lived here for 19 years and have *yet* found my "posse". Count your blessing and relish in what you all have!

Amy said...

I was on the December 03 birth board with you and was reminded of Allie tonight. I went searching and am so happy to see things going so well for your family. You are truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

I envy you the posse! What incredible women -- and so cool for you to have people you love so much so close by. My closest friends live several states away, and I see them only every few years... it's tough.

Haven't stopped in here for awhile, but I was thinking of Allie, and her birthday coming up, and wanted you to know that I hold you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. My kids were really little when we discovered your blog about Allie, but they still remember her, too, and occasionally will ask me how you are doing (they are 9 and 6 now). We do the Light the Night walk every year in Allie's memory, so that always reminds them.

I hope your life is getting richer and richer every day. I think it is incredible how you've built the charity and how much good you've done in your community.

tracy said...

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves! Smart women we are.