I like me some coffee. I like good coffee and I REALLY like when someone else makes it for me and hands it to me in a cup with my name on it. A cup that says, “Today, you are special. Special enough for me to make you a special drink that you don’t have to share with tiny people. It’s all for you. Only you.”
I think I got off track…did I mention I like coffee? Not so long ago, my husband mentioned that this is how my friends and I show each other support. When we’re thinking of each other, we bring lattes. When someone has something to celebrate, we bring lattes. When we want to chat after weeks of busy family life, we do it over lattes. Coffee cards for gifts, for fun, for surprises in the mail. And on the really, deeply hard days in life, we bring lattes. Women care for each other with food and drink. When I lost my babies, I can’t tell you how many friends brought me a special drink. Something that said, “Today, I will remind you that you are special. Special enough for me to go out of my way to bring you a special drink that you don’t have to share with anyone. It’s all for you. Only you, and I hope it brings you just a bit of comfort.”
It’s over coffee (or wine, or cookies, or appetizers) that we form the friendships that deepen over each meeting. It’s during these times that we learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we laugh and cry (because, hormones), we tell stories. We talk about our hopes and dreams for our children and our fear of failing them. We whine and vent and cheer and celebrate. Those lattes are very important.
Because at some point, those lattes turn into lasagnes. When times get hard, women bring meals. This is what we do, whether we know you very well or not. We cannot stop your hurt, but we rain lasagne down to cover the pain that life brings. The lattes we meet over form the friendships that become deeply important when the trials come and we band together to bring each other meal after meal until you can’t eat another bite of pasta.
A dear friend of mine is going through a tough time and on a hard day in April, I watched a group of women circle her on a beautiful front porch. It was a tough day, but we laughed and ate and I watched her smile, laugh even, and be held up by dear friends, many of whom were meeting for the first time, because women brought food. In those times, we surround each other, protect one another and hold each other up. And the lattes, that seemed like simple coffee dates, are really the foundation to allows us to be there in the bad, in the awful and in the pain.
The most beautiful thing about women is that we don’t need to know each other that well to find sisterhood. We really only need to find one small thing in common – children, a book, something simple. We can sit down together over a cup of coffee and talk for an hour – no matter that we’ve never talked before, and may never again. We may not know each other that well, but in the tough times, we all stand together with a dear friend and we are all sisters, holding her together.
Never underestimate the power of the time spent over lattes with your girlfriends – they are the investment that comes back to hold you up on your hardest days. Never underestimate those lattes, because without them, there would not be lasagne, and at some point, we all need lasagne.