"This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are…"
- Martina McBride
This summer is all about girlfriends I have sensed it since early last winter. It has been clearer than the little stream just beyond my porch at Crowsnest. This one's for the girls.
We launched this summer with a great, but all-too-short graduation weekend. Three of our four daughters, as well as with our oldest daughter's girlfriend, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and our son's girlfriend were with us for not nearly enough talking, eating, laughing and playing games. What a terrific way to get it all started. We let the boys join us (okay, so the weekend was really all about our son's graduation) but they ate chocolate and laughed like girls so it was okay.
Today, as I finish packing Clara, Emma, and I up for camp it comes to me over and over again that this really is the summer of being with my girlfriends. Especially these two wise and funny ten year olds I love to snuggle in the night, sing lullabyes to, and well, just live with. I can't wait to take a road trip with them next week and sing Beatles songs and eat red licorice and look in the rear view mirror to catch a glimpse of their faces as they transition from girl to woman right before my very eyes. We will stop in Kansas to visit with my dear friend Nancy and her daughter Amy before heading up into Colorado's high country on our way to camp.
For Emma and Clara, this is a summer I know they will never forget. They are going to spend two weeks at Adventure Unlimited with four of their girl cousins. Six girls between 8 and 12 years old, riding horses, singing camp songs, giggling long after past "lights out" has echoed through their cabin. A summer where you fall in love with a horse, share your deepest secrets, and learn to cook pineapple-upside-down-cake in an old black skillet over an open fire.
This is also the summer that each of my own girlfriends has made it clear that we will gather and will see each other…face to face, arm in arm, "you and me against the world." We will sit, and talk, and laugh, and cry. We will drink tea, eat chocolate and share secrets. We will take long walks or just sit on the porch of my cabin. It is the summer when I will hold the hand of my best friend while we watch the sunset over the Sleeping Indian range, wish upon a star and thank God for "another year" at camp.
This is the summer that Leslie will finally return to camp for a day of talking about boys and God and friends we miss. I am hoping she draws Beth down out of the mountains like a bee to honey. I miss them both and need to hear them talk a million miles an hour while I just listen in rapt fascination. Maria will bring m&ms to my cabin and we will smile about all the things we thought we were so burdened by, that is until camp made us laugh too hard to let the little things get us down.
Maree and I will eat Nutty goat Cheese salad at Laughing Ladies and marvel that we never get tired of the sound of the other's laughter, voice, silence…or tears. We will talk about all ways we seen things change and yet stay the same in the last 25 years of our summers together and we will stand in awe of all that God has shown us through this friendship. My new (but in so many ways "old") friend Jackie and I will share word paintings full of color from our two, very different, remote corners of the west.
Alison will come sit on my porch like she did when she was a girl…long before she realized what we all knew… that she is amazing and could keep the world from coming unglued if they just gave her the chance. Sami and I will sit on the lawn and catch up on where she's been and what she's seen and I will admire her courage and her gentleness all at once. Debra and I will meet on the porch of Bongos and catch up on one another's spiritual journey in the shadow of Mt. Princeton.
I will kiss my mom and stare at her hands and realize that either hers are looking like mine…or mine have started to look like hers. I will marvel that at 73 she is still so beautiful and pray that I take after her…just a little. I will be amazed that my sisters are such remarkable human beings and that I must have been adopted to be part of the cache of talent, and passion for living, they represent. Their motherhood will take my breath away…until I look beyond their faces, to the eyes of the one who raised us and taught us how to be like her without knowing it.
And I will travel to South Africa to see my beloved oldest daughter later this summer. She, her birthmom and I will spend ten days discovering wonderful new things about this extraordinary relationship of ours. Ours is a mother-daughter love triangle that has already shattered old adoption paradigms right and left.
This is the summer when I will have married my JillyBean to her beloved farmer, and I will have watched a group of girls we all love "rise from among us like a big balloon and take to the sky and forsake the ground" as they march across the stage and graduate out of our sight.
This summer I will fall in love with a whole new crop of campers, counselors, and CITs. At least half of them will be girls. Each girl will have a story, a dream, a desire to love and be loved, to find their North Star and to know they make a difference in the world.
"…Yeah, we're all the same inside
From 1 to 99…"
Some of them will be boys…but for today…this one's for the girls.
This summer is all about the girls. Girls who make me laugh and cry and girls make me remember that life is soooo worth putting in the time…
"This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls."
I can't wait to see you..each..and all,