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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friends aren't something you collect on Facebook

I've been thinking a lot about what makes a good friend. 

My oldest daughter is at the age when fitting in and feeling loved by your peers is so important.  I suppose if we are being honest with ourselves fitting in and being loved is important to all of us no matter what our age.

I've been stressing to her that quantity of friends doesn't matter.  That quality is a better attribute.

Recently I posted as a Facebook status "How did we meet and how long have we known each other".  It was so fun to see some of the answers.

I'm not forty (yet) but I've had friends for over 20 years.  One of my friends commented about how we were on the same peewee cheerleading team.  We were seven!  That means I've been friends with her for 31 years!  That doesn't seem possible.

I recalled dancing at a teen club with one of my other friends.  She was incredibly pregnant!  We were so young.  Both of us flabbergasted by the fact that she was really having a baby.  "Do you think he'll like loud music?" she asked me, as we both danced near the speakers. 

That little boy isn't so little anymore.  He'll be 23 this year and yes, he does like his music loud.  LOL

I had one friend say I was her first "American" friend.  She and her family moved to Ohio from England when our kids were just wee little things. 

When the stay-at-home phase of my life merged with the-kids-are-starting-school phase of my life I met even more wonderful people.  The principal of my daughter's school recalled meeting me when Oldest transferred here from kindergarten in Ohio. 

I vividly remember Oldest getting down on the ground during that meeting and running her hands up and down the principal's pantyhose and saying how soft they were.  That was mortifying.  I didn't really think I would ever be considered her friend.  Yet now she has lunch with me and the other lunch ladies just about everyday.  And to think that my little kindergartner from that story will soon start middle school.

I have friends I've met through work at the paper, through work at the school district.  Many of whom I can share a glass of wine with and laugh about the day.  I have neighbors (and former neighbors) whom I would drop everything for.  Whom I would bail out of jail.  Whom I would give a kidney.

I have had the privilege of meeting some wonderful moms through preschool programs that I truly feel blessed to know.  Many of them (especially K) make me proud to be a parent.  They fill me with hope, with gratitude and with awe.  I secretly want to be them when I grow up.  I think their kids are the luckiest little people in the entire world.  A&J are going to do amazing things and I hope I'm around to see it all!

Without my friend, B, I would likely explode.  She listens to me gripe, she takes care of me when I'm sick, she watches my kids, she picks up gallons of milk for me, she goes on vacation with me and she reads my manuscripts and tells me that she loves them.

We have a secretly language and usually without words we know if the other is hurting.

It is my sincere hope that you have friends that you've known for decades, for years, for months, that bring you great joy.  Whom you can't remember life without.  Whom you don't want to live life without.

4 random thoughts:

Anonymous said...

friends truly make a life richer :)

septembermom said...

Love the pantyhose story! Over the past year, I have relied on my friends many times to get me through some rough patches. I love the easy laughs with them too. Good friends are like gold. You sound like a true treasure to all your friends. And thanks for being a great friend to me here too!!

Kristie Maynard said...

I was just talking to my daughter about this the other day. She is 21 now and some of her friends have turned into "not friends anymore" she is really hurting lately and we talked about what a good friend is.
I have been very lucky in my life and have many, many friends. Real friends, not just people I know. I don't see all of them all the time and some I hardly ever see, BUT they are there if I need them and I would be there for them in a heart beat.
My "oldest" friend and I met when we were 4 and went to kindergarten together. We went all the way thourough school together and after high school she dated my brother and they just celebrated their 34th anniversary a couple weeks ago.
I can't imagine a life with out my friends and their support and it hurts to have my daughter hurting over not having friends.

Jenners said...

You are truly blessed! And having friends for such a long period of time is such an amazing thing. They knew you "back in the day" and they can see how far you've come. Loved this post.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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