As my little boy gets older and I start to notice him at the very edge of that toddler stage of making friends, it occurs to me that I haven’t really thought about my own friendships for a long time. I mean, I see my friends – they come round for tea, we chat, moan, deliberate and generally have good conversation. But I haven’t “evaluated” my friendships in a long while.
Should I? Do you?
You see, I recently had a sad moment where I found an old friend was no longer a friend at all. Or at least, she didn’t see herself as being that to me anymore. And whilst I can recall some of those moments of change with other friends, this one struck a chord.
So, I started to evaluate. In these early grown-up years, where motherhood and family life is so apparent and friendships almost take a back seat, I started to think about who my friends were – what type of friendship we had, if that friendship was lacking anywhere that I could fix. And, quite honestly, I feel I’ve made some progress with some of those. That makes me feel better.
But thinking about this sort of stuff often makes me want to sit and brainstorm/mind map/thought shower/whatever. I think best by getting things down on paper, in lists or plans or some other visual form. Anyone else do that?
I think I must be a visual thinker, because that’s exactly what I did. I got paper, I got my planner, I made a list of free nights, days and spare weekend time (which isn’t much when you’re a working mum in the late stages of pregnancy with a toddler and a husband and a family to see!) I made a few plans with a few people, threw in a few purposeful conversations and sent out a couple of texts. And I feel better.
Because it’s hard when you realise that what you thought was a lifelong friendship became a seasonal friendship, and even harder when that season ends. But maybe being on the cusp of creating some lifelong friendships makes that better, OK even? There was a time in my life where I needed someone and that someone was there. Maybe now I need someone or something else.
Maybe my son will still be friends in twenty years with the friends he’s beginning to make now (wouldn’t that be amazing?) but it’s unlikely. His friends now will be seasonal, until school or slightly beyond maybe. Then those friends may last until university. And other friends will come and go until he gets to the point where I am now – where I can list amazing friends who were there at the right moment. And others who’ve been there all along.
And now, in new moments, there are new friends. And that’s OK.
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