Ribbons are almost never a necessity. Instead, they are used to add color, decorate, spruce up, or embellish. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, widths and patterns. Ribbons usually have one side that is shinier and brighter–meant for show. The other side is not as pretty and is often hidden. Ribbons can be wound up tight on a spool or loose and long in a strand. Ribbons aren’t always practical, but sometimes it’s fun to add them. Ribbons make things more beautiful.
My weekend was much like a ribbon. A ribbon, you say? Yes, I had a weekend away… a “girl weekend” with 10 other ladies. And just like a ribbon, it wasn’t a necessity. And, the fact that we had to leave our children with our husbands or babysitters, or take a day off work, didn’t make it practical either. But, it was fun! And just like a ribbon, weekends like this help make the rest of life more beautiful. Let me explain…
They say that when you marry your spouse you’re not only marrying the spouse but their entire family. Let me take that a step farther and say that sometimes your spouse’s “old friends” may be thrown into the deal. For some people both of these add-ons are a bummer. In-laws and “old friends” can be a subject of frustration and tension in a marriage. However, not to brag, but I feel doubly blessed.
First, my in-laws are pretty amazing. I get along with them easily and naturally and sincerely like being with them. Seriously.
Second, my in-laws have good friends who have been friends of theirs for a lifetime. Their friends have children who all grew up together in the same church and youth group. Now their children are married and have children of their own… but they are still friends. And, amazingly, this group of two generations of friends (the Moms and the Daughters) get together once a year for a weekend.
Now, I married into this gang. I’m not one of the original “daughters” but since my in-laws had two sons I get invited on these girl weekends. (This is much better than me sending my husband on a girl weekend!)
The group has been doing these weekends for the past 10 years or so. I’ve attended five or six. And what a fun time we have! We scrapbook, talk, eat, laugh, talk, eat, and talk some more. We play games and take walks and go shopping. Fun, huh?
And, just like ribbons we are quite the hodge podge of people. We come in different sizes, hair colors (some naturally, some, well…) and patterns. And we slowly unwind over the weekend as we share life. The good and bad. The sides that are “for show” and the other, less pretty sides. We talk about past struggles, pain, hurt, loss and grief. We talk about current circumstances that are difficult and scary. We laugh about antics that our children have done, both long ago and last week. We tell stories about our husbands that bring tears to our eyes (mostly due to laughter!) …and it’s beautiful!
No the weekend isn’t a necessity…and it’s impractical for our schedules. Yet it adds such color to our lives. Old friendships and new memories. Embellishments we each enjoy. The weekend away from our own families also helps us to remember how much color and detail we add to our own husband’s and children’s lives.
I’m honored that these “old friends” include me and have made me feel so welcome over the years. I’m fairly certain that I now know more about my husband’s childhood friends than he does… and possibly even more about his own childhood! The lifetime friendships in these two generations is so rare. So special.
Old friendships can be forgotten and overlooked, just like a ribbon on a package. Yet I got to spend a weekend away with two generations of old friends… who are now my friends too. We were able to unwind, let loose, and notice the color and detail of our lives.
The weekend was a nice little gift… with a ribbon on top!