I’m feeling very dishonest, unfaithful and sneaky the last several weeks.
It’s almost like I’m having an affair.
Before you stop reading and assume the worst of me, let me explain.
This extra-curricular relationship isn’t with another man but a group of women!
It’s been a highly emotional week. My best friend in Omaha just had her fourth child, my god-daughter. If I was still living in Omaha, guaranteed, I would be at her house every day. I would prepare food, clean, entertain the older children, and snuggle the sweet baby girl so my friend could rest and recuperate. I’d be there. I’d be part of this demanding transition for her; I’d be present.
In addition to the new baby, another close friend sent her first-born off to kindergarten. We dreamed of all the fun (and trouble) we would make with only the little ones at home and our older kids off at school for eight hours. Oh, the shopping trips, coffee dates, book studies, and house projects we had planned!
I’m missing my best friends. I’m missing significant life events.
All the while, here I am in Seward, Neb., adjusting to our new small-town way of life. I’m figuring out where to buy the best produce, public library programming, and navigating the in’s and out’s of a child in kindergarten. My husband is the vice president for Institutional Advancement at a private university, so I’m also discovering what opportunities and expectations there are for me as his wife.
We are meeting extraordinarily kind families in our new community. I’ve been spending a lot of time with a fun new friend who lives four houses down. Her husband is the head football coach for the university and she has two children close in age to mine. Our two eldest children who sit next to one another at school became instant pals. She and I share the same values and passion for life. She loves to laugh, therefore reminding me to do the same. We’ve been exercising early every morning together and she’s introduced me to her lively, welcoming group of friends. She’s my Seward life-line.
Saturday night we took all the kids to the opening football scrimmage, a beautiful night under the stadium lights. The kids squealed joyfully as they played tag and I laughed with a new circle of friends. For the first time since our move, I felt like I was going to be OK. I was happy.
Then came the onset of adulterous guilt.
I called my best friend — and came clean — then cried. I admitted to making new friends and finding happiness. I needed her to know the guilt I was feeling and reaffirm she could never be replaced.
Her loving response set me free. She had been praying for friendships and opportunities for connections to our new community. She admitted to feeling a tinge of jealousy, but ultimately relief, that this new environment was starting to feel more like home.
We laughed, cried, and said good-night, knowing full-well we’d talk the next day.
I went to bed, free from guilt and happy-hearted.
And that’s why she’s my best friend — no matter the miles.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children.
Read her blogs every Monday on momaha.
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