16 September 2008

The Importance of Friendship

My friends and family are the most important things in the world to me. I try to always be there for my friends, no matter what, and I know I have friends who would do the same for me. (It amazes me how easily I arranged babysitting for my kids for my trip to Maryland next week! I thought that it was going to take a monstrous effort with lots of schedule juggling and bribery, but all it took was a couple of phone calls! In fact, I wound up with more people willing to help out than I actually needed!! Thanks guys!!)

I must admit, though, that my level of commitment to my friends didn't actually hit me until tonight. At about 8:00 tonight, as I was tucking my kids into bed (it was a late night for us - they're usually in bed by 7:00, but I was chatting with Phil about houses on the webcam and lost track of the time), the phone rang. It was my good friend, Elizabeth. She was playing a game with the Officer's Spouses club, and they needed to know the address for the U-Fix-It shop on base. Of course, none of them knew the address, but Elizabeth remembered that it was just down the street from me, so she called. I couldn't remember the address either, and it was dark enough that I couldn't see clearly to count how many houses were between my house and the U-Fix-It shop. So what did I do? I set down the phone, slipped on some flip-flops, grabbed a flashlight and ran down to the end of the block to read the address for her!

No big deal, right? Okay, so if you know me well, you know that I am terrified of being outside in the dark! If I forget to turn my sprinkler off before the sun fully sets, it stays on until morning, because I start hyperventilating when I think of going out to my porch (with the porch light on) to turn off the hose! Yet, my friend called to ask a favor, and without even thinking about it, I not only went outside in the dark, but because it was too dark to see clearly between my house and the end of the block, I ran through the shadows all the way to the end of the block, among the vacant lots and abandoned houses to get an address so that Elizabeth could get a few extra points in her game!!! Then, I ran back home and gave her the address and hung up the phone. And only then did it hit me what I had just done! Maybe that should have been an empowering moment, when I realized that it is incredibly silly to have such an irrational fear of the dark. Perhaps it should help me to get over this silly fear, so that I can go outside and turn off the sprinkler that is still running before I go to bed.... But, yeah, that's not what happened. No, instead, here I sit in awe and wonder that I would do something so completely out of character just because a friend needed my help! (I may or may not gather the courage to go out and turn off the sprinkler that is still on in my yard tonight.) I guess friendship really is a powerfully motivating force!

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