Monday, February 8, 2010

Hello, Old Friend

I have decided that since music plays such an important role in my life and in my ever changing moods, I would start each entry in this blog with a song title. Music makes me happy, speaks to me, takes me to good times with good friends, takes me to all of the corners of my life. So, what better way to explain my daily ramblings?

Friends have been on my mind, a lot, lately. Old friends, newer friends, online friends, old college friends, high school friends...the list goes on.

I have been thinking a lot about how, in my mid 40s, I seem to place an even greater emphasis on my friends and the friends who surround me. In my teen years and in my years of being a twenty-something, it seemed like the bigger the group, the better. The louder, the rowdier, the larger the crowd, the better. Good times were always sought and always accomplished. I was lucky to have a lot of friends, both male and female, and even luckier to have that one best friend. The best friend and I were often called, two peas in a pod and we shared life, laughter, fun, trouble, broken hearts and an almost sisterhood. Then, as life progressed, we both shot off to seek seperate colleges, seperate paths and both started our new lives away from our old lives.

In my 30s, it seemed that friends were coming into my life as new moms, new neighbors, new wives of friends. I became a new mom right before I turned 30. So many new changes brought on a new need for new friends. I bonded with other new moms over MOPS or in the neighborhood, at story times, preschool, the pool, the park. I craved all new mom friends. I needed these new friends!! Together, we figured out the baby stuff, the toddler stuff, the preschool stuff, the husband stuff, the potty-training stuff. We cheered and we cried and we vented and we laughed. We grew closer over coffee afternoons and even closer over Friday happy hours. We watched the babies take first steps, we consoled over setbacks and smiled at the small wonders that took up a large portion of our lives.

And, just like that, kids grew, people moved, our needs changed and we moved on. The latter part of my 30s found us moving from our little beach community to the cold rural area where we now live. The baby was now in elementary school and I was face to face with the moms of the new community. I think that this was the hardest phase of the friendship cycle. Moving to a small community where people had lived for generations. I was the new mom on the block, the new girl in town. I did what anyone would do and quickly marched into the first PTA meeting of the little private school and signed up for every committee there was. And met some of my closest friends at the time. We bonded, worked hard, shared our love of coffee and cocktails. Watched the kids grow even bigger and older and continued to bond over PTA, school issues and what directions our kids were all beginning to take. Little by little, we all drifted from the little private school, kids all filtered into public school, developed their own interests and the moms....well, we seemed to start to fray at the seams, too.

Years went on, kids turned into teens, the teens have become more independent and ironically, some of the teens who were students at the little private school, have rebonded. And, one of my favorite friends has rebonded with me. This makes me happy to know that as lives change, friendships change but as women age, it seems that we tend to make a never ending circle of friendship. My best friends, now, may have started out because we had kids the same ages or same interests but now that the kids are all older, it makes me happy that us moms have remained tight.

In my 40s, I have been reunited with the best friend from high school, some best friends and sorority sisters from college, old neighbor friends, old high school pals, old friends that I made when I moved here and new friends. But, it's the easiness and trusting that I love. The laughter, the sharing, the coffe and the cocktails. I feel so lucky to have two handfuls of friends that I hold close to my heart. And, the older I get, I realize that some friendships have had to be let go...and that's okay. The older I get, I don't need that large group. I need the two handfuls of my pals to get me through.

And, in my ever changing moods, this makes me so content...

When I meet up with my closest friends, it always makes me think of the lyrics, Hello Old Friend.

Just wait until I discuss my online friends...they hold the other part of my heart of friendship.



Dawn said...

I love this post! Hello, Friend!

tammy said...

:) hehe...Can't wait until you discuss your invisible online friends.