"With each true friendship we build more firmly the foundation on which the peace of the whole world rests."
I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately.
On Monday night, I got to have dinner with my "birthday sister" and celebrate our birthdays 1 month late. Several years ago I met Nancie, who is my colleague in our Seattle office, and we immediately hit it off. Then we discovered that we were born on the same day, October 6, exactly 10 years apart. We'd both lived abroad (she in Chile and me in Japan); love to read and travel; experienced infertility and other losses (she is a breast cancer survivor); married funny, wonderful men; and balance motherhood with our careers.
Once you reach your 30s or 40s, a new friendship is a rare gift.
When I had Nicholas, Nancie came down to Portland (battling rush-hour traffic on a Friday afternoon from Seattle to Portland!) the weekend after I came home from the hospital. She did the best thing possible for our family: she spent high-quality time with Chris and Kieran, taking them all over town to do fun things and treating them as if they were the most special kids in the world. We asked Nancie and her husband Dave to be godparents to Nicholas, because they are fantastic parents and role models and know how to make children feel special.
For my birthday this year, I asked Mike if we could spend time with a couple that we had not seen for almost a year. We met them through the NICU Family Advisory Board, and our friendship has grown and flourished over the years, even though we really do not see each other often enough! We had a fantastic dinner at Mother's Restaurant in downtown Portland, and that adult dinner with friends was the best possible birthday present for me!
This summer I made a new friend, which is truly difficult to do once you leave college and the arena of shared experiences. Shelia and I spent a lot of time on the porch swings and following children around at Holden Village, and I discovered we have tons of things in common--love of reading; crafts; a laid-back but attachment-oriented, fun approach to parenting; and the fact that we both lived in Japan and we both have three children. She has a wonderful, irreverent approach to life and conversation. I knew we had a lot in common, but what really brought it home to me was the first time I went into their bathroom and discovered she had chosen the exact same, unusual bathroom tile that I had! Too funny! Unfortunately, she and her family moved to Idaho a few months ago, so it's ever more important to commit to staying in touch. I truly feel that her friendship is a rare gift, because we all become so stuck in our ways as we age and do not reach out to others as easily. It helps that our children have hit it off so well!