Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Some are silver and the others gold. If you were a Girl Scout, you know what I’m talking about. Or singing about. Today’s been a happy day because I haven’t felt the Mommy Isolation that can make being a stay-at-homer miserable. My old roommate Mandy came into town on Saturday and left this afternoon. I got to drive to church with my good friend Natalie. And I was reminded of my dear friends in Cheraw thanks to a post on Facebook by Melanie. At times I feel like any gregariousness I possessed was stripped away when I became a “homer.” I begin to think that maybe my true personality leans toward introvertedness. It’s days like today that have reminded me that I’m NOT an introvert. Yes, sometimes I like being quiet. But really, I like hanging out with people and talking. And I get energy from those interactions.  And today I had many interpersonal interactions and they came in all shapes and sizes. That was good. I’m in a good mood because of it.

The first type of interaction was Reacquaintance. I hadn’t spent real quality time with Mandy in years. And so having a conversation with her was like discovering a $10 bill in last year’s winter coat. You try it on expecting it to be usable but you’re not necessarily expecting a bonus. And then there it is. Crinkly paper. Is it a receipt? Nope. It’s forgotten money. The joy of finding something you didn’t realize you were missing. I’d forgotten that we had been such good friends. And why we had been such good friends. Becoming reacquainted with her made me resolve to be better about keeping in touch.

The second type of interaction was Camaraderie. Driving with Natalie to set up for tomorrow’s MOPS meeting offered a chance to have some pleasant mommy talk. It’s not usually anything too deep. But just like deep calls to deep, mommy calls to mommy. I love having a friend who’s in the same place as me. Literally and figuratively. The fact that she lives two blocks away is an extra bonus. Four years ago, I didn’t realize what a blessing it was that Matt and Natalie moved into our neighborhood. It seemed a pleasant coincidence. Since then, our friendship has grown from college acquaintances to dear friends. She’s the one I call when I’ve just gotten done cleaning up vomit. She knows what it’s like. Although she’s more of a poop expert.

The third type of interaction was Remembrance. Calling it that seems funereal. If you’ve got a better word, let me know. Today, my lifetime friend Melanie posted a memento from her childhood. It had nothing to do with me personally. But it made me remember  the days we spent together playing. The dynamic of two blond twins, a short brunette, and an imaginative redhead…um…I mean strawberry blond. Being in the real world has made me realize that not many people have friendships that have lasted a lifetime (cue Michael W. Smith music). But somehow I was blessed enough to have three friends that I knew from church nursery on. Cheraw seems like the perfect place for those types of friendships to be forged. Practically, there was only one elementary school and high school so we spent our days at school together and our Sunday mornings at church. A small town also has little to offer in entertainment, so walks to the gas station were routine. As were afternoons sitting on the porch swing. We talked a lot. When I think about it,  we are a branched tree. We share the same roots. But we have grown in our own directions. But still the roots remain, grounding us. Reminding of us of who we are and where we came from. Cheraw. On the southern bank of the Pee Dee River. With its old churches and historic buildings. Its Wal-Mart. And just about any fast food restaurant. I know where I came from and where they came from. Which made Melanie’s childhood artifact poignant and pretty hilarious. Although I was never subjected to it, Melanie’s mother Chrissy often used writing lines as discipline. Imagining the scenario in which Melanie was given this “assignment” made me giggle.

From Melanie’s Facebook post:

I found this gem (circa 1990, obviously just after a spat) while looking for slideshow photos. It’s written in my very best cursive on a lovely sheet of wide-ruled notebook paper. My favorite is No. 13.

1. I like the way Kate laughs.
2. I like the way Kate kinda looks up to me.
3. I like the way Kate sometimes wants to sleep in my room.
4. I like it when Kate comes up to my room and brushes her hair.
5. I like the way Kate takes good care of her glasses.
6. I like the way Kate swims like a fish.
7. I like the way Kate sometimes wants to play with me.
8. I like the way Kate likes to do things I do.
9. I like the way Kate usually agrees with me.
10. I like the way Kate shares her things with me.
11. I like the way Kate lets me into her room.
12. I like the way Kate picks her clothes so cool.
13. I like the way Kate will do most things I ask her to do.
14. I like the way Kate makes me laugh.
15. I like the way Kate fixes her hair.

Because of all these things we like about each other we will be kind to each other.

(signed) Melanie Depew
(printed) Melanie Depew

Me again. Okay. So it makes me giggle. And cry a little. I love my friends. New and old. Silver and gold. It really is a circle that has no end. O the wisdom of campfire songs!

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