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This friendship culling, much like that of a spring garden, is laborious and painful but necessary so as to make room for more sturdy roots to thrive.During times of crisis it feels devastating, but, as one of those fleer-friends once told me: .In these circles, though, publicly-perceived perfection was not only a goal but a requirement.The messiness of real life was simply too unpleasant for anyone with a hyphenated last name. I joined the morning running group at the encouragement of a friend (who does not drink latte) which was not an easy feat for this night owl.We added two more children, another boy and a baby girl, later.They too are distinct individuals, none of them following in the footsteps or even on the same path as any of their siblings.My daughter is now navigating the complicated ‘tween’ friendship labyrinth as she enters middle school.
I roused myself each morning at with the stern reminder that if she could get out of bed in the dark to run, then I had absolutely no excuse. I found women who were honest about their life struggles and I, too, was completely honest about my unpleasant life’s circumstances: that my children’s father was more interested in destroying me financially and emotionally and protecting his bottom line than he was in being a father to his two children.The friendship circles of my past included those who would be considered popular: they drove the right cars, wore the right clothes and had wealthy husbands.They sipped lattes on the sidelines at Saturday morning soccer practice, wore skinny jeans instead of yoga pants and gave fake air kisses instead touching lip to cheek.That I, a Master’s educated woman, had taken to cleaning houses when I could not find a professional job. ” I’d said, clutching the book, pointing at the legs and the letters.The final straw was at the gas pump on a Friday morning when my debit card was declined and I had been driving on fumes and prayers for a day and a half. I sat in the car and cried, feeling hopeless and helpless. It was memory, of course; I’d memorized the words from my mother’s repeated renderings. A hop and a skip and a jump from one idea to the next. I know the tiger—a he—has stripes, and why they’re there.