You’ve Got a Friend in Me

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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 Fridaythe 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.

11 comments on “You’ve Got a Friend in Me

  1. This is such a beautiful post. I couldn’t agree more. For a long time, my best friend and I tried to keep up a facade that everything was okay in each of our respective lives. Not so much because we are proud, but because we each thought the other would be too busy with their own life to be want to hear our respective heartaches and to mop up floods of tears. Then one day, I reveal that everything was not okay and she opened up to me that everything was not okay with her either and then we just kept talking and talking and crying and it was horrible, but it was wonderful too. there is something truly magical about having a friend as an adult who has been your friend since you were a child :)

  2. So true. Cheesy as is sounds, my hubby is my best friend. Otherwise, I really don’t have nay of those deep friendships anymore. I’ve got friends who would help me in a pinch, but not those deep connections are hard to come by these days.

  3. I just love where you took this topic so much! I’m a sucker for friendship posts and I absolutely love your observation on the nature of childhood and teenager friendships being stronger due to the quality of shared experiences. This was such an astute and wonderful observation!

  4. It really is funny to sit back and think on that for a minute – there are so many friends I have from childhood who, if I were to meet them now, I probably wouldn’t be close with. They are such a diverse group, with all manner of wacky lifestyle. As an adult, you automatically gravitate toward people in the same field as you, who share your views, etc. You’re not “stuck” together in school, etc., long enough to get to know them on a deeper level and realize the value they could add to your life. Interesting …

  5. I’m so with you in that it’s hard to develop deep friendships as adults. I think that’s part of what is so wonderful about the blogging community – we show such support for each other and get to know one another through our writing. I also think that when we’re younger, that our friendships could survive hurt better or something. Or maybe that’s just many years of ups and downs…really really great post today, you.

  6. Truth. Those friendships are organic and naturally made. I couldn’t deal with daily life without them! (And I live 2000 miles away from them now but we talk often and enough.)
    Love this.

  7. I feel the same way,especially when I look at my Friends list on Facebook. There are only a select few who are actually my ‘friends’ and who I can be myself with. I wish I had stayed in touch with more of my school friends. #FTSF

  8. So very true about those friendships and I am so blessed to have a very good friend, who I could totally go months without seeing and when we do see each other again, it is like no time has passed at all, too. So, yes I get it and seriously very unexpected here, too! :)

  9. I’m actually opposite of this. The friends I’d call if I needed something or the ones that I know would show up in dire times are those I’ve made in my late 20s, early 30s. Part of that has to do with moving across the country, but most of it I think is that I’ve only come into myself in these years and made the kind of friends who I really want to be friends with. For me, that’s been a surprising thing about being grown up :)

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