Posted by: canthold | April 2, 2006

Friends

Time is precious. We can’t create it nor slow it down. It keeps coming until all our hair is grey – if we’re lucky. If given the medical diagnosis that I had a limited amount of time to live, I do not think that I would live my life any differently. I do not have a store of unlived dreams tucked under my bed that I would pull out at the last minute. My life has, in fact, been very full. I have accomplished more in my time so far than many people who have lived twice as long.

Part of my philosophy is to only surround myself with people that I truly enjoy. I do not spend time with fleeting acquaintances, but seek solid friendships. I would rather be alone than not to enjoy the company that I keep.

When I was a new mom, I was invited into a group of neighborhood women for both the comaraderie of motherhood and the peer playtime for my oldest daughter. These four women, with whom I spend two hours, once a week, have greatly contributed to the fullness of my life. The friendships that I have experienced in the context of this consistent assemblage have nurtured my soul.

These four women have given me a place to bounce creative ideas around, safely explore crazy schemes, complain about the mundane, collect ideas for self improvement and learn about how to be a better mom. None of them rejected me for my quirky personality traits or for having an off day every now and then. More often, my off days were righted back on course after a cup of tea in their presence.

Each of them are admirable for certain individual qualities and I have wished to be like them all at one time or another. Kathleen is well-organized and amazing. She started not one, but two businesses since I have known her. She also seems to be the epitomy of the woman who has it all. I have, on many occasions, tried to emulate her and incorporate the things she does into my routine in an effort to get my life a little more together.

Kirstin is grounded and very comfortable. I think that I closely identify with her the most. Talking to her on the phone when I have news guarantees that I will find enthusiam, encouragement, sympathy or simply a listening ear. I admire her ability to take things in stride and find a way to laugh at the funny parts.

Melissa is the one with the courage of conviction. She champions the underdog by working for a non-profit. At a time when she could chase the almighty buck, she works to help the people in society that are less able to help themselves. I greatly admire her ability to act on the things that she feels strongly about rather than just talk about them.

Rebecca is quite a woman, too. She is self confident and successful and she happens to be the one that I look up to in matters of parenting. She lets her children explore their boundaries and has taught me to hover less. She has accomplished things that I have only dreamed about and doesn’t even brag about them, even though these are the bragging sort of accomplishments.

Our playgroup, which I prefer to call a mom’s group, has been meeting for about three and a half years. It has endured longer than we could possibly have expected. We are about to lose Rebecca to a fabulous job change which requires a cross-country move. It’s the end of an era. Even as the rest of us remaining hope to continue gathering, it will not be the same without her.

By now, we are experienced moms with at least two kids each. We do not need parenting advice the way we once did. As women, however, the need for friends will never go away. If we evolve into something else, or dissolve away from our group, these women will always remain indelibly etched into my heart for filling a need so comfortably and sincerely. And because of them, my life – and the way that I spend my time on earth – is more full and better for the fact they were there.

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