Friday, January 20, 2012

Deja Vu? AKA...when new friends feel like old friends

Old can be good. Old furniture can bring character and warmth to a room. Old wine or old scotch can be silky smooth going down.  Old age can bring wisdom. And, old friends bring us a sense of security, history and stability.  But let’s not knock what’s new.  Nothing beats a new car. New shoes can perk anyone up and mini-me loves to dance around in new panties (I mean, really – who doesn’t??)  And as I’ve discovered, new friends can bring a whole new perspective, open our eyes a little wider and fill our lives in amazing new ways.

Me, Legs and Lips. You  just can't see the drinks.
Lips and Legs are my mom posse. They keep me sane in the neighborhood (thank God, because you know I live next to this.) They help me channel my inner trailer trash over wine, crooked Arnold Palmers, Triscuits, fruit roll-ups and goldfish.  We whine, wine, bitch and laugh with regularity.  Legs and I met last year when our mini-me’s were in the same class. Lips moved down the street last year but as herder mom to two boys, we didn’t connect right away. Legs introduced us and our connection was swift.  Our friendship was like finding the perfect jeans (if those actually existed) - they fit perfectly, they feel great and make us feel better. it felt like we'd always been friends.  Our kids wander in and out of any of our homes with nary a knock. They know where the snacks and drinks are stored, they are comfortable and happy (at least we assume they are since they yell, scream, chase, etc as they would in their own abode.)  They know that despite differences in age and gender – a friend is just down the street.  More importantly, Lips and Legs are my friends.  We don’t have to schedule or plan. We are just there.  Over the holidays, mini-me made a comment that I knew was coming but still sent me into a tailspin. I immediately reached out to my Big Susan’s and their comforting words over the phone line did help. But late one night, when I was overwhelmed, Lips wandered down in her pajamas and robe so big and fluffy it scared my dog.  She was equally tired and stressed but the fact that she took that time to come and listen reminded me that some new friends quickly become the old friends we’ll still be talking to for years to come.  She knew I needed to talk. The red velvet cake may have made her walk a wee bit faster. 

Legs and I both have mini-me’s that test our patience and make us laugh.  They are both wise beyond their years and still firmly planted in the age of innocence.  The fact that they go to school together, play together outside of school daily, share clothes, interests and other friends means that Legs and I are also comrades in arms.  Muddling through the girly-girl thing, sharing fears and hopes.  One more than one occasion, we’ve talked through concerns about raising girls in this crazy world – what is allowed, what isn’t, what scares us and what we plan to do.  It helps that we often do this over wine and cheese. But it really helps to know I'm not alone with those crazy thoughts.
Other new-ish friends have quickly become old and I mean that in the best sense of the word.  Last weekend, Pixie, Stretch and a few others from a relatively delinquent moms group came over for drinks and to wish Stretch a happy birthday.  Many drinks and laughs later, my rough week was gone along with the Sweet Tea vodka and all was right in the world.  I can’t imagine not having the preschool posse in my life – we Yom Kippur, sometimes Passover, and often New Year together and though we don’t see each other as often, I think of them all the time and wish we saw one another more.

I’m always grateful for my friends – my old friends have seen me through both good and bad.  They know my history, know my family, know my stories, have likely put up with a fair amount of my crap and are still my friends (really, there needs to be an award for this.)  They provide a foundation that steadies me in the storm.

But, I’m also grateful for my new friends.  They’ve reminded me to keep my eyes open because if I hadn’t – they wouldn’t be in my life.  New friends teach you that you're never too old - you can teach an old dog new tricks.  But mostly, they remind me that new is only for a moment and friend lasts a whole lot longer. 

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