I thought about you yesterday, dear friend. I remembered the problem you’d been facing and said a prayer for you. I wanted to text you and see how you were doing, wanted you to know I cared and remembered. But I was in the shower, and by the time I’d dried off, gotten dressed, and cleaned up whatever mess the kids had made in my absence, I’d forgotten. 

I watched our show last night, sweet friend. Finally, right? I know I’m a few weeks behind, and I don’t know exactly which episode you’re on right now, but I really wanted to chat with you about it, like we used to. I wanted to hear your opinions, your theories, your excitement and shock over the newest storylines. But it was after midnight by the time I’d been able to find a quiet moment to dive into my overcrowded DVR, so it was too late to call. 

I can’t believe how big your kiddos are getting, soul sister. My honorary nieces and nephews, the chosen family I’ve known since their birth.

We said we’d raise our kids as cousins, always together, the best of friends, like we were. I feel so guilty at how long it’s been since I’ve seen them now, and I want so badly to know them better. It’s just that every weekend gets filled with our own kids’ games, events, recitals, and competitions. We stay so busy with school activities and homework that we don’t have many opportunities to get together, especially not when you’re just as busy with just as many activities. 

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I miss you, friend, and I promise I want to do better.

I want to be a better friend to you, want to be there for you, check in with you, be a constant and supportive source of encouragement for you. 

I want to be a better friend, but I’m just so tired. 

I’m tired before the kids are even done with school. Oh, what I would give for an afternoon nap! I want to hear about the kids’ days, then I have to check their backpacks for notes, homework, half-eaten fruit. I break up their fights a dozen times before I even start dinner prep. I’m so tired, I just want to order pizza or grab some burgers, but we’ve got to stay on budget so we can afford the lessons and teams I have to keep track of and cart the kids to. 

I think about you while I’m making dinner. I imagine making huge portions and having your family over to share the meal with. I picture us laughing, swapping stories, our kids realizing how cool we really are. I’m just about to text you to put it on the calendar when a child comes in and needs help with a project she waited too long to begin. Or another child yells from another room about a video game glitch. Or I realize we’re late for a practice. Or I realize we don’t have enough butter, and I call my husband in a panic, praying he can still stop by the store on his way home. I turn back to the meal I’m making, shoulders slumped. No dinner parties tonight. I’m so tired.

Another time. We’ll plan dinner soon. The house is a mess anyway, and I’m too tired to get it cleaned up tonight. 

Once dinner is finished, the dishes done, the kids put to bed, and tomorrow’s calendar checked, I see I missed a text from youover an hour ago. I’m not ignoring you, my friend.

You are still so very important to me, my friend.

I want to be the person, your person, the one you can vent to, cry to, laugh with, share with. I want you to know I’ll be there when you need me. I want to be a better friend. I want to have all the time in the world, all the energy in the world, but right now, in this season of life, I’m just so tired, friend. So very, very tired. 

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I’m tired in my bones, tired in my soul. I’m not depressed, I’m not a prisoner, I just have a lot of people around me who need a lot from me, and at the end of the day my cup is dry and empty. I do so many things I’m supposed to do that it’s making me too tired to enjoy the things I want to do. We’re not growing apart, friend, and I haven’t forgotten you. I miss you, miss our fun times, miss our lunches and our gossip sessions and the nights when we cry in the driveway together. 

I’m not giving up on you, friend, and I hope you’re not giving up on me.

I’m tired, but I’m not gone, so I hope you’ll forgive my late reply. Until we’re in different seasons, until the kids are a little more independent maybe, it’ll have to do. I really do want to be a better friend, but right now I’m just so very tired.

Jennifer Vail

Jennifer is married to the very handsome man she's loved half her life, with whom she juggles 3 hilarious, quirky, sometimes-difficult-but-always-worth-the-work kids. She is passionate about people and 90's pop culture, can't go a week without TexMex, and maintains the controversial belief that Han shot first. She holds degrees in counseling and general ministries, writes at This Undeserved Life, and can often be found staying up too late but rarely found folding laundry.