The Beautiful Friendships by Vicky Dal Molin

I have just returned from a day out of town. My son and I jumped in the car Saturday morning and with much excitement (mine really…. he was far from excited at sitting for 2.5 hours in that car seat…. A fact he shared the entire drive) and headed north to Springfield, Massachusetts. We were headed to visit two dear friends of mine, whom I hadn’t seen in way too long and I was eagerly anticipating the company. They hadn’t met my son before so I was keen to introduce him, as I was sure that he would love the new faces and as biased as I may be… I was sure they would adore him.

It was the perfect day. I so enjoyed spending the time with them both. They are actually sisters and a real riot. Both value family, friendship, kindness and generosity as much as I was raised to do but also they reminded me just how important it is to laugh and to brush off the negative in our lives. Of course my son loved the visit and especially seemed intrigued by Prince, the gorgeous Siberian Husky (until said Husky ate a piece of his apple…. Then it was all bets off and my son’s character came out in full force… they got to see all sides of him).

Driving home I got to thinking about how lucky I have been so far in life to have such amazing friends. Scattered around the world I don’t get to see many of them in person often and that sometimes feels lonely – more so now since I had my son. But boy do we make up for it when we meet in person. I have come to appreciate over the years that while we may be scattered around the world it makes those visits and those conversations so much more valuable.

I’d also forgotten how visiting with long-time friends can give you the boot you need to change your attitude – that reality check. I’d been feeling a bit flat lately with the challenge of trying to juggle an ever increasing workload and the increasing demands of home as my son develops from baby to toddler (into everything) not to mention the challenges of handling all the new relationships that arise as you form a family. But those doubts were not allowed to linger as my friends made sure I knew that I was doing ok.

But it takes effort to keep and maintain good relationships when you live so far away from your friends. It’s not always easy to find the time to get in contact, make that phone call, travel with a toddler, send that email. Before my son I felt so much more on top of my communications. These days though ….. well often my responses fall into the “drafted…. never sent” file in my brain. You know what I mean right? Where you see a text/email, you form your response but something distracts you and you realize 3 days later you never sent it, or it’s sitting eager to be sent in your draft folder.

So over time as my son grows up and starts to formulate his own friendships I plan to spend a lot of time telling him stories of all the fabulous people in my life in the hope that he too will spend his time and effort on people wisely and choose friends based on shared values. I plan to tell him of my best friend from primary school whom I may not see for years but we pick up as if it has been no time at all; of my dear friend that I went through university with that even though we have not lived in the same city (or even country) for the best part of our friendship have shared so much and been such a support even from other sides of the globe; of my bestest buddy in the whole wide world who also happens to be my sister (so I’m doubly lucky there!); of all of my friends because I have a beautiful story for each of them – how they came into my life and why I am blessed because of it.

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