Thursday, March 6, 2014

SOL Day 6: Friends

From the time that we are small, there are few constants in our lives. Our families are one. Our friends are another. As we grow up, the people who are our friends may change, but having friends is
something we always desire. When I was younger, I always wanted to have friends. I had a few friends I would do things with, but usually only one really close "best" friend. I made friends through a variety of ways; school, neighborhood, church, girl scouts.

Prom 1991: That's me in green with my
 2 best friends (and our dates)
As I got older and busier, the makeup of my circle of friends changed. The girl who was my best friend through elementary school developed other interests and we drifted apart. Throughout middle school, I never really had someone I was close to. In high school, I had two really close friends, but for the most part hung out with a group of friends. It was at this point I started to get more serious about school and going to college, and they got more serious about boys. I was a little disheartened about friendships at the tail end of high school. My friends started dating and I never really did. So, while we would still hang out together, it would usually only happen within a large group or when their boyfriends were unavailable. This didn't make me feel very important and kind of jaded me on friendships                                                      for a while.

Me and my Freshman year roommate.
College was a chance to start over. I had roommates and friends who I hung out with, but for the most part my closest friend was my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband.) As I became an adult, I mostly had acquaintances. These were people from college, the gym, and work. Most of my time was spent with my husband and our families. I wasn't one of those women who had 10 bridesmaids in their wedding. I had 3, and one of them was my future sister-in-law. It's funny, because I've often looked back and realized that if I got married today, I wouldn't even have the same bridesmaids (except for her.)

Me and my best friend, Michelle.
Since becoming an adult, there's really only been one person I would consider my "best friend". We would scrapbook together, go to movies, work out, go to home parties (baskets, candles, etc.) together, go to the zoo or the park with our kids together. We were there when each others' children were born. We could call each other day or night if we needed to. Then, she and
her family moved out of state. At first, we would talk every other day. Then once a week. We visited them on a couple of vacations and they always make time to have dinner with us when they travel back home. Now, I can't remember the last time I actually spoke to her. New Year's Eve maybe? That makes me incredibly sad. I really miss her.

My friends and colleagues. I couldn't
make it through a day of teaching without them.

I have friends now, but nobody like that. There's nobody else who knows me like she does. I can now say that my husband is my best friend. I guess that's how it is supposed to be. But I miss having someone to do girlfriend things with. I'm fortunate to have co-workers with whom I also share a friendship, but outside of work we don't hang out with each other. I enjoy their company and I think they are wonderful women, it's just not the same.

My son Liam with two of his
friends from school.

The reason I decided on this as the topic of today's slice is because of my oldest son. I observed him with some of his friends at his choir concert tonight. Their heads together, giggling over a shared joke, making plans for a weekend get-together. I saw him with these friends, both boys and girls, and was so pleased to see him enjoying himself with his friends. I know that, coming into the teen years, he has some challenges ahead of him and I'm grateful that he has made such good friendships to support him through it. I was worried about this when he was in elementary school because he'd never really had close friends. He never invited anyone over to play, has never had a sleepover, and has been content to do his own thing. His younger brother is the same way. Maybe he just needed                                                      to find the right friends.

Me and my husband, Kevin.
My best friend.

I don't think I'll ever grow out of wanting to have friends. After all, I really want people to like me (although that's a topic for a different post!) But, I think at my age and stage in life, friends are taking a different role in my life, and that's okay.

1 comment:

  1. Carolyn,
    You have captured a lifetime of friendships in this post. I'm not sure what it is about the friendships we have when we are young, but they seem to stick. Years ago these friends would have done anything for me, and they still would today. When I get together with them, it's like we never were apart.

    Having these kinds of friendships has been harder as I've gotten older. Just keeping up with the responsibilities of life takes so much time, and there's little time left to be the kind of friend I know I should be. Friends are a true gift and your post is a reminder of how important they are to us.