She Shows Up

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Time changes many things.  Over time, we move, we get new jobs, we get married, we have babies, we explore new ideas, new hobbies, we make new friends, we lose old ones, we learn, we grow, and we constantly explore new versions of ourselves.

But as time moves on, some things are constant.

Yes, we have changed so much since meeting freshman year of college.  We’ve grown up, we graduated college, we moved on from jobs at the same company, only to work together at a different company years later, only for one of us to stay and the other move on since.  We got married, we bought houses.  I had babies.  And she loves those babies to the moon and back.

Friendship, true friendship, I believe can still evolve and grow even when life has you walking down somewhat different paths because, in the end, we all just need that friend who shows up.

When I lost my job in the middle of the recession over a decade ago, one of the first ones to arrive at the house to see my puffed up face and red eyes was her.  She sat, she talked, she hugged.

She showed up.

Shortly after I gave birth my second son she visited with a box of diapers and an iced coffee in hand for me.  My house was a mess, breast pump parts everywhere.  I was tired juggling our new life as a family of 4.  But she sat and chatted with me, and played with my oldest while I nursed, breast fully out in the comfort of knowing my best friend wouldn’t judge me.

She showed up.

When my grandmother passed away, the first thing she did was offer to watch my young children for the wake and funeral.  “If you need babysitting I’ll be there.  If you are all set, then I’ll be at the wake and funeral, but I’ll watch them if that is better for you.”  So that day she sat at home with my children and answered some semi-uncomfortable questions from my then 5-year-old about death that day while I had the time to mourn with my family.

She showed up.

At 9:30 am, on a Sunday morning no less, I’m greeted by her and her husband’s face walking up the bleachers to watch my oldest’s hockey game.  She knows by now I’m not the best conversationalist during a game, especially hard ones.  We aren’t going to catch up or having a meaningful conversation, but she’s still there – there to support him, and there to support me and my family.

She showed up.

We may have different lives.  I’m a mother of two, juggling school drop-offs, attending birthday parties at bounce house places, and keeping track of sports and extracurricular schedules.  She and her husband are happily childless, living in a beautiful and very clean home (and clean is not something my house has been since I gave birth to my first 9 years ago).  While most of our traveling these days involves kid-friendly destinations, she and her husband travel when they want, where they want.  We have different types of jobs.  We drive different types of cars.  We can have very different lives.  BUT we still have the very same kind of friendship – one that doesn’t waiver and always picks up where it leaves off.  She never fails to show up.

May you too have a friend who shows up.

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Robin Barton
Robin is a working mother of two very precious, but very precocious sons ages 9 and 5. A lifelong Rhode Islander, she lives in the Providence area with her husband of 13+ years and boys. She is a Bryant University graduate (back in the day when it used to be called Bryant College) where she also received an MBA. In between refereeing her boys' impromptu wrestling matches, carting them between school and practice and handling occasional work issues outside business hours, Robin enjoys cooking/baking (but not the mess they create), 80s music, checking out family friendly events/destinations, visiting new breweries and wineries with her hubby, buying new makeup and taking WAY too many photos (YOLO). She also considers herself an aficionado of naps. Robin believes that it is possible to find both motherhood and a career simultaneously rewarding, with the right support system....and an Amazon Prime account.

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