Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

A couple of weeks ago, I saw one of my oldest friends with whom I'm still in touch. We have known each other since the sixth grade. By eighth grade, we were well on our way to being BFFs. All throughout high school, we were inseparable--well, we were inseparable when we weren't separated by the fact that we were spending all our time with boyfriends.

She and her family were passing through my area on the way to a wedding, and I had invited her to drop by and let her kids run around and have a meal if it was meal-time. As it turns out, they arrived at lunch time. Her schedule had not been fixed and neither of us were sure when she would arrive. I had been out of town on vacation and my house was in the post-vacation mess. I had counted on a couple of hours after church to set things right. As it turned out, I got her message right as we left church, and we determined that they would arrive at our house shortly after we got home. So the first, and possibly last, time she saw my house, it was less-than-spiffy. But as she so bluntly put it, "I remember the state of your bedroom in high school," so I wasn't going to be fooling her! She also admitted to being a non-devoted housekeeper, so my ongoing mission--to make other women feel better about their housekeeping when they see my house--seemed to be fulfilled.

The children ate and watched TV inside. We took our sandwiches out on the front porch and just talked. We covered all the regular parental topics: kids' sports, school, family vacations, summer fun. Our relationship is of the type now where we email--weekly in spurts with breaks of several months--and we see each other when we are both in our hometown every couple of years. It's different, but it's not defunct.

Many years ago, two of my high school friends got together for a weekend visit. They had gotten married. They had children. And jobs. Some of their perspectives and views on life were now different (Wait, wait--in high school we didn't know everything?). One of their mothers mentioned to my mother, "Well, that friendship is over." That saddened me, but fortunately proved to be untrue. What the mom didn't understand is that most of us have room in our lives for all sorts of friends. Friends from our past who see us differently than friends from our present lives who may know us better now. Women who are older or younger. Friends with whom we agree politically and those with whom we disagree.

I have many new friends. New friends who are now dear friends, after sharing life for only a couple of years. But I am fortunate enough to still be in contact with many old friends. To finish off the Girl Scout song, "One is silver and the other is gold."

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I'm also blogging at Faith Lifts today about Transparency (as if my confession and presentation of my home in its natural state isn't enough). Check it out.


Heather said...

Can I be your new friend? (Especially since you have a messy house.)

Dianne said...

"my ongoing mission--to make other women feel better about their housekeeping when they see my house" this is great! I think it's my mission too!

Katrina said...

I love your "ongoing mission," too! That's a great way too look at it: instead of me feeling bad, I'm just making other women feel good about their own homes!

I think it's great that you have maintained some of those long-time friendships, and I agree that we have room for different kinds of friends. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing at all.

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

So true. There is something so special about the friend who knew us when... However, there is something wonderful about friends who can relate to us and support us as we are know as well! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Glad I can count you as one of my old friends!!!!

Helen said...

This is so true and a precious post on friendship.

I have many friends, that have been my friends for 'ages' - we move on, but we haven't forgotten or lost the deep roots that once founded our friendship.

Susanne said...

Lovely post on friendship, Jennifer. Unfortunately I have no friends from high school now, but I have made many friendships that have lasted a long time.

I love you "mission".

Org Junkie said...

My best friend from elementary school is still one of my best friends today and we still even live in the same town. We still have other friends separately as well as some mutual friends. We make it work.

Summer said...

My current best friend is the same one I had at age 14, even though we live thousands of miles from each other now. But I have also loved making wonderful new friends over the years.