Coolers and Cocktails
I have been blessed to have many friends throughout my life - both men and women. High school friends, college and graduate school friends, single friends, married friends, professional friends, work friends, Pgh friends, Boston friends, NJ friends, Colorado friends, neighbor friends, husband friends, parent friends, crazy friends, cycling friends and tennis friends. Some of these friends got me thru tough times while others celebrated life with me so much that being prison roommates was a real possibility.
I have known this particular group of crazy ladies for 18 years. Robin, Susan and I had just moved to Colorado while Eve and Steph were Colorado natives. Four of us were taking our first born to kindergarten while one was a veteran. Two of the five were pregnant and everyone thought Susan was the nanny. I cannot explain the instant bond. Out of all the moms, the five of us clicked and yet we could not be more different. I did not realize meeting these women was at a pivotal time for me.
I knew I hit the jackpot when we were all together sipping coffee at McDonalds and I lost Jake in McDonald's PlayPlace. I was freaking out because how was I ever going to tell Brad I lost our child. My girlfriends quickly moved into action blocking all entries, checking bathrooms and offering to climb thru the tubes while sipping their coffee and never breaking a sweat. When Jake finally poked his little head out of one the tubes, we did not know whether to kiss or crack him.
We spent many summers at the neighborhood pool together with our coolers and cocktails and each of us took turns standing up to count heads. There were many holidays and girl trips spent together and nothing was off limits (well just about - after all we were married with children). We had our lemon drops and martinis while dancing the night away giving pseudo names and who can forget Susan telling those poor young boys, " My name is Cinnamon, but with a S". Brad tried real hard to send the ladies home at a decent hour, but they would send Brad to bed laughing because there was more wine to drink. One drunken girl's night away we named our group "Caboodles" after my big makeup case. Another mountain getaway, three of us went cross country skiing in a blizzard with beers stuffed in our jackets and pockets. We skied down to a restaurant and sat on a bench covered with snow to drink our beers and laugh. Then we skied back to the house where our other two compadres had fresh baked brownies waiting for us.
There were many ups and downs between the five of us, but when the chips were down we always came together and whoever and whatever pissed you off was easily forgotten, We have been through illnesses, unemployment, divorce, deaths, therapy, broken bones, stress of raising children, angst of adult children, depression, jealousy, judgement, weddings and so much more. But somehow we realized the older we got, the more we needed each other thru thick or thin, fat or skinny, It seemed that one of us at any time was able to intuitively recognize what was needed and make it happen. Sometimes it was something small like a text or email and when it was something bigger, one of us was strong enough to voice what needed to be said.
PS: We did not kick Susan (Sinnamon) out of the group ... she moved to Singapore and then back to California and she remains a caboodle for life and one of our BFF.