I was in a rush this morning. I don't know how the time got away from me, but one moment I was puttering happily along, and the next I was running late. I needed a jacket, a sweater, something to run out the door wearing. It was drizzly, and I wanted something more casual than my leather jacket but nicer than a sweatshirt. I grabbed that old, comfy sweater.
I got this sweater in 7th grade. Unless my memory is dreadfully mistaken, it is the oldest item in my closet. If you could see it in person, you'd be doubting my judgement that it's nicer than a sweatshirt--I really need to buy a sweater shaver....
I got it on sale one weekend, wore it to school on Monday (somehow it was allowed by dress code), and was delighted to discover that my math teacher had bought the same one in gray (and probably a size smaller). Now, I am not fashionable, but at that moment, I thought there might be hope. "Miss S" is pretty much a walking Banana Republic model, she believed I would be a good teacher someday, and today she has two beautiful children (and I chose my college largely because she went here, too). Bless her. To this day, I smile every time I think about her.
Anyway, all of that helped make this sweater special--in addition to the fact that it is warm, comfy, and, at one time anyway, looked pretty nice. And so, I've worn it every winter since (9 years, in case you're counting).
I want to draw some sort of thoughtful analogy from the sweater, but I'm not sure I have one. I do know, though, that it's made me a bit reflective today. What else has been in my life for 9 years? That's a long time after all. A lot has happened: I'm a lot different, and hopefully a lot more mature, than I was then. I have some books that have been around for 9 years--though my library was a lot smaller then. I might have a pair of flipflops that I've had that long (that's a bit embarrassing); some paint brushes and beads, maybe some yarn... but, mostly, it's relationships that stick around over time. Stuff comes and goes, but friends, real friends, last awhile.
I am unusually blessed in the friend department. I am part of a group of girls that was in the church nursery together. I was looking through photos of them today, and I was reminded of all the ups and downs we've walked together (and how much blackmail we have on each other. Photos from middle school--yikes!). Sometimes we don't touch base so much--we're a bit scattered these days and life gets busy. But when we're all home, dinner dates happen. And when push comes to shove, we show up for each other. It's kind of like having a half dozen Diana Berrys.
There are newer friends, too, special ones. One's from high school and a couple who only showed up in the last year or two. But I forget that they haven't been around just as long. Fristers are Fristers, man. (haha. I just made that up: Friend+Sister. I'm going to go giggle at myself...). Just last night one of these newer additions to my life joined me for supper at the Burrow. Those couple hours cooking, eating, and talking about life--they kept me warm all the way through today's drizzle.
It's not just time and camaraderie though. These are the girls who push me to grow. Who call me out when I cross the line, encourage me when I'm down, and remind me to laugh at myself when I say things like "suBtle" and "Oh, like cardstock?" By God's grace, I hope I am the blessing to them that they are to me.
So what's up with the sweater? Nothing, I guess. It's just a sweater. It's not magical traveling pants or anything like that. But it reminded me today to be thankful for the blessing of these ladies in my life. I am proud and delighted to have called them friends for as long as they have been in my life, and I'm glad we've all grown and are growing up together.
So, my girls--I love you!
Adventure well; Live fully...with good friends in old, comfy sweaters.