To Life! And to Female Friends

I’m writing from a hotel room in San Francisco, where I’ve been awake since 4:50 am. I’m here for a long weekend to see my friend Rayna’s daughter, Lily, celebrate her Bat Mitzvah. Rayna is a friend I met when I was 19, during the year we spent living together in Jerusalem. She and I have had a lot of adventures together. We backpacked in Europe, saw Phish on a mountain in Vermont, and spent many early 20’s weekends visiting each other in Boston and New York. She watched me finish the NYC marathon. We’ve spent Jewish holidays together with our parents. We drove across the country, camping in California, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. We danced at each other’s weddings and signed each other’s ketubahs. We hiked in Lake Tahoe with our kids. We see each other in NY and in the Bay Area whenever possible. We don’t talk every day or every week, but we are there physically there for each other.

I’m excited for her family's celebratory milestone, one that is familiar and cultural and important in the story of our friendship. Rayna and I met at an age when we were discovering who we were as women and as Jews, and now we navigate life as working mothers, wives, and members of our own chosen communities – different from the ones we grew up in, but also infused in many of our parents’ values.

Being with my own tween daughter alone on this trip at this moment feels important, like I’m giving our relationship its own weight at such an interesting time in her development. I love introducing her to my old friends, like my friend Danielle whom we saw last night with her daughter. It may sound obvious, but the fact that Zoe is a full flown human making her way in the world with her own personality and opinions continues to fill me with pride. I want to model for her that female friendships are everything, and how much my old friends mean to me. They have shaped me, and continue to do so.

Also this month, my dear friend Rachel is moving away. She is a true sister to me, and has been there for ALL of it since we met at that same formative age of 19 – for the fun, the struggles, the constant processing, the shopping, the advice, the editing, and the listening. Our friendship is evolving, and we are at the phase in life where we have to be confident in the time and energy we make for each other. I will miss having her so close to me physically, but I know this is an exciting moment for her family, and I know that transitions are what strengthen. Trying to be cool here, but the thought of her not in NYC is completely nauseating.

Work wise, I’m deep in a new podcast project that is launching in August, and I’ve been busy learning about how wonderful it is to collaborate with a team and have some professional level support behind me. MILK has been a little off schedule for the past few weeks with other MILKs’ summer situations and getting my own family transitioned into summer, but I’m excited about two upcoming interviews next week with an author and an activist, and also to share the groovy parenting podcast I’ve been working on with Slate Studios in very early August.

But right now, while my girl sleeps in, I gonna drink this coffee while looking over the foggy, romantic, pastel hued city of San Francisco, and do some plank poses so I can lift my friend Rayna, and her daughter Lily, high above in a chair when we dance the Horah tomorrow night.  L’Chaim.