My longest running friendship is, dare I say it, 43 years and going strong. Sheila and I met at some point when we were 4 years old. I don't remember our first meeting but I am told it was because our moms were friends and neighbors and we were the same age so they got us together.
We've been through EVERYTHING together. We hung out at her house or my house constantly while growing up. Sometimes it felt like we were sisters. That is a wonderful gift to have in your life.
I DO remember sitting underneath her dining room table and helping each other count our chicken pox marks. We also did an experiment once to see if you truly did stay warmer in a cold house if you wore a hat. We fought with her brother and we fought with mine. Sometimes her mom would let us take her college aged brother's pet parakeet into the bathroom and let it fly around. It was never very long before we started begging for her to take the bird away because it was freaking us out. We truly shared everything life could offer us. It would take VOLUMES of books to record the adventures we have had and are still having with each other.
One of the things I loved about being at Sheila's house was her mom, Audrey. I thought that Audrey was the COOLEST mom on earth. She was most often barefooted while working around the house and often wore a cool, green sweatshirt that said "You drive me to drink". I thought it was funny even though I was pretty sure that it meant that I should pray for her soul.
Audrey was a salt of the earth kind of person. She told it like it was and had an infectious laugh. She also had a baby in her 40s which was so fun for me since I never knew too many people who actually were pregnant or that had a small infant that I could hang out with often.
She also made some of the most incredible Barbie clothes ever! Apparently someone with 3 sons who finally gets a daughter is highly motivated to make awesome Barbie clothes. We're talking evening gowns with matching wraps, people!
I've been thinking of Audrey today because my family was planning to go to a local fireworks show which had gotten postponed from the 4th because of rain. The thing is, I really don't want to go with them. I really just want to stay home alone and savor the peace and quiet of alone time. My mom has often told me that Audrey said that her idea of a vacation was letting the rest of the family go somewhere and leave her alone. We always laughed about that but I can SO relate.
So, tonight I'm living the Audrey Principle and enjoying every minute of it.
You can believe me when I say that I have the loudest child on the face of the earth. Not tonight. Tonight I can sit down at the piano and sing or just play. There is no voice crying from the wilderness at high decibels to overshadow my sounds. I am not hearing my other daughter play the guitar and sing at the top of her lungs (although I really enjoy hearing her enjoy music). I am also not hearing my husband talk on the phone endlessly either.
Silence makes me stronger. Silence recharges me and makes me ready to go out and face the world of people I have to make small talk with uncomfortably.
When they get home, I will be happy to see them and that will make me feel good. I totally get what Audrey was talking about!