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I have the good fortune of having a group of girlfriends who all live close by. We met at that key time in our early 20s when we were still willing to bare our souls to people we’d just met, allowing for deep bonds to form, the kind that have become harder to achieve as we’ve settled into adult life. I’ve made new friends of course, fueled by wine at cocktail parties and common interests like skiing, soccer, or our kids. But they don’t have the raw honesty of friendships that formed during our younger, unguarded days.

We spent the past few days on the beach together, about three hours from home. No husbands, no kids. Although we have become more guarded even with each other, vodka cocktails at 11 a.m. and the dozey effect of warm sand and salty water peeled back the layers of our lives – at least to an extent. We drank a bit too much, danced to old reggae tunes on the beach, ate fried food, and talked, and talked, and talked. A good girls weekend is a bit like therapy. I am forced to go with the flow, sometimes staying up later than I otherwise would, or waiting patiently through endless showers, hair, and makeup.

After the first day, the relief of not being responsible for anything — kids, groceries, work, dinner — faded into missing the routine of my day-to-day life, and definitely missing Daddo and the kids. Yesterday we woke to rain at the beach, and our girls getaway was over. We drove home tired, leafing through tabloid magazines that had been left unread on on our beach blankets. Someone bought a can of Pringles (how is it possible our first can of Pringles was on the way back from the beach? They were once a staple!). We dropped each other off along with sand-crusted bags and beach chairs at our respective houses, saying heartfelt goodbyes.

And while it was good to get away, it is great to be home.