J, J, and A,

You are my kindred. I don’t have any other relationships like these: we don’t in fact know each others’ lives that well, we don’t know each others’ families that well, yet we just understand each other in a way that is, to me, unique and wonderful.

We have much more in common than we don’t. We are educated, we are curious, we are thoughtful, we are probably more than a touch neurotic. We are all accustomed to being in charge and in control; I feel a perceptible relaxation in myself, and sense it in each of you, when we sit down, order a glass of wine, and just let out a deep breath. Each time I see you I leave both comforted and inspired. You are three of the most capable, accomplished, intelligent, loving women I know. And you are, as far as I can tell, utterly unaware of your brilliance, which is part of the wonder of each of you.

In truth, I was intimidated when I met you, in turn, two in 1996 (A, I will never forget that very first interview at college – thank God you decided to pass me onto the second round) and one in 2001. I was awestruck, all three times, by similar things: you each seemed to me to be breathlessly competent, confident, breezing through life with ease, leaving a trail of admirers in your wake.

I was lucky enough to share my first pregnancy with you, A (that summer of daily milkshakes), and my second with you, J. Oh what sage counselors you both were, on life with a newborn and then on the sheer terror of life with more than one!

Each time I see you I learn something. We are unmistakably in the thick of Real Life, all of us, and we share a similar perspective on what contributes to identity and to a fully-lived life. A perspective that I have found very rarely in others; this makes each of you more important to me than you probably realize. We can talk about subjects ranging from silly to serious, from flip to fraught. I never tire of your stories and appreciate that each of you has both tremendous wisdom and great humor. I want you each to know that I admire you, I honor the grace with which you meet the challenges that I know about and those I don’t, and I am genuinely grateful for your friendship.

Now, more sangria!

1 thought on “Kindred”

  1. Lovely words. Lovely portrait of genuine sangria-soaked, truth-addled friendship. It's a real shame we all don't take the time out from Real Life to say these things to each other more often.

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