Last week I kicked off the Mom-to-Mom Gratitude Gala and Giveaway with Lara Krupicka’s post about being grateful for disappointments. This week my writer friend and colleague Christa Melnyk Hines — author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life — is here to share her gratitude for seasonal friendships. This topic is near and dear to my heart because — as a highly-mobile military family — we make new friends in each place we live, knowing we can’t take them all with us when we go. Christa captures the blessing of these fluid friendships in her description below. I hope her post reminds you of your good friends from season’s past. It brought to mind several of mine (I’m going to list them in the comments! I hope you’ll do the same.)
Soon after my family moved to Kansas City, I enrolled my 2-year-old in a weekly Mom’s Day Out program. I hoped the program would help with his separation anxiety and give him a chance to be around other kids his age. What I didn’t realize was how good the program would be for me as I struggled to parent in a social network void.
As we settled into the routine of a weekly drop-off and pick-up, my son’s anxiety began to calm, and I relaxed enough to chit-chat with another mom. Beth was friendly in a quiet, calm and self-assured way.
I confessed that Nolan seemed to be recovering from his initial anxiety of me leaving him. She confided that her daughter had comforted him saying, “Don’t worry, Nolan. Your mom will come and get you. My mom always comes back!”
We giggled about how sweet her little girl was to say that to my son. No wonder he liked to play with her!
We soon realized how much we had in common. Over time, we began getting our kids together to play at each others’ houses and the park.
I felt like I struck gold by finding a friend who I could talk about books with and discuss child-rearing worries; laugh with about our kids’ funny antics and commiserate about how challenging life married to a road warrior could be while mothering moody toddlers.
Once our kids entered kindergarten at different schools, we started to grow apart. We’d plan get-togethers at parks with our kids occasionally. But soon, we were swept up with separate commitments, school and extracurricular activities. Our now school-age children had less in common and between our busy schedules we rarely saw each other.
Then, she and her family moved several states away.
Friends who come into our lives even for only a few seasons are essential and just as meaningful as our more evergreen friendships. They teach us not to take any friendship for granted. After all, who’s to say how long a friendship will last?
Circumstances change. Lives evolve. People move or simply move on. I’m grateful that she was there, someone I could relate to and be myself with as I picked my way around my new community. Her friendship, sense of humor and consideration were gifts during a time when I lacked an extensive support system, vital when my self-confidence was shaky and indispensable during my kids’ turbulent toddler years.
Beth is back to working full-time, and I’ve grown busy with my writing. Other than an occasional Facebook exchange, we rarely talk to each other anymore. Nevertheless, if I was to pick up the phone and call her, I’m certain it would feel like we had never missed a beat.
And for that, I’m forever grateful.
Are you grateful for your seasonal friendships? Whose temporary presence made a big difference in your life?
Remember: This post is part of the GIVEAWAY! That means you can comment on this post and count it toward your entry points using the rafflecopter widget here. Repeat tweets also earn extra entries. Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get grateful.