As she answered the phone, I just started crying, not saying a word for 3 or 4 minutes, and she sat in silence and understood.
He posted on Facebook about having a rough patch in life and I could picture his facial expression as he typed that admission.
Her daughter fell ill and I sat in the hospital room with her as she said her goodbyes and held her child for the last time.
Those are real friends. True, longterm friends. Those are my high school friends. The friends I made during math class, football games, and wild nights sneaking around town. Those are friends from almost 15 years ago and yet they still hold a special place in my soul.
When I read this week’s prompt for Finish the Sentence Friday – the most unexpected part about being a grownup is… - I found myself thinking about explosive diapers and other surprising mommy moments, but those are expected when you have a child. What has been unexpected about the past decade of my life is the kind of friendships I would develop as an adult. Yes, I have good friends in my neighborhood and I have other mommies who I love to get together with for play dates or girls’ night out, but they aren’t the ones I call when I’m so sad I can’t speak. They’re not the ones who cause me to drop everything and sit bedside in the pediatric ICU for 7 days. They’re not the ones who I take the time to really connect with on Facebook.
Old friends from my teens hold a deeper connection for me than my adult friends who I love to grill out with and whose kids play with my kids.
That is the most unexpected part about being a grownup. I guess it’s because those old friendships were built over many years of being together every day. Of prom memories and bad date stories. Of studying, partying, and driving our first cars too fast.
We don’t get moments like that as an adult. Friendships are now formed at work, on the playground, and at church. We now seek out people with similar lifestyles, political views, and daily schedules for potential friends. It’s much more of a science and a process than it was when we were younger.
I’m not sad about this and I’m not trying to live in the past. I’m just amazed how much these friends from so many years ago, who have such different lifestyles and political views than I have, play an important role in my life.
I would say this is a Facebook phenomenon, but my mother still gets together once or twice a year with a group of women who met as Girl Scouts decades ago. They have fun romping around New York City and Vegas. They visit each others’ homes all across the United States. They are not the Facebook generation, yet the truth remains the same: these friendships are stronger and more founded than the adult friendships they developed while moving on with their lives.
We’re busy as young parents. We’re busy as we build careers, raise children, and start 401Ks. We don’t have hours to talk on the phone or watch chick flicks together, so our new friendships don’t usually grow as deep as our old friendships and our old friendships often get neglected. But the best part about those old friendships is that no matter how long you’ve neglected them, when you call, text, or message them with a need, an emptiness, an excitement, or an announcement, it’s like no time has passed and you fall right back in step as if it were still 15 years ago. That’s true friendship and I never expected adulthood to be lacking in that.