By the time we all reach adulthood we have accumulated quite a number of friendships. You might have the kind of friendship with someone that picks up from right where you left it six months ago. Or the kind of friendship that receives daily updates. Or the kind of friendship that is more acquaintance than friend.
But we’ve had years of experience when it comes to friendships.
Our children have not.
My daughter Jordan is now 11 and in Year 6. She’s known Emily since her first day at Kindy. That’s half her life ago.
Jordan and Emily were in the same class together; and their birthdays are 9 days apart.
Emily’s mum, Barbara, and I were new to the school too. It just so happens that our birthdays are 14 days apart.
The four of us got on fabulously well. Every Friday I would go over to Barbara’s house for a cup of tea and a catch up; and let the girls have a play date too. It was great.
But something started to change. Not between me and Barbara; things couldn’t have been better. However, Emily and Jordan didn’t want to play together anymore.
“It’s not that I don’t like Emily”, Jordan would say. “I just want to play with someone else sometimes”.
“It’s just not as much fun anymore”, Emily confided in her mother.
The girls’ friendship was starting to wane.
Friendships are usually borne out of random acts. We sat next to each other at school; we both owned dogs; we live on the same street.
What keeps a friendship going is substance. And sometimes you realize that the substance you seek just isn’t there. It doesn’t mean the friendship is a waste of time or even finished. It is just re-defined.
Jordan and Emily are still friends. But they realised that they weren’t the sort of friends who were going to play together every Friday and have regular sleepovers.
So Barbara and I spaced the girls playdates further apart. And Barbara and I found new ways to enjoy our company.
With playdates spaced further apart Jordan and Emily retained their friendship with no friction. And 6 years on, when they do get together to play it is nothing but fun.
Maria is a former high flying corporate marketing guru who gave it all up for daytime television and tracksuit pants….oh and to raise her children.
Maria is a freelance writer of articles, scripts, marketing documents and one day, books. She is a wife, mother of four and draws much of her inspiration from her children and the crazy world she brought them into.
She blogs regularly on Mum’s Word (www.mariatedeschi.com/mumsword), where she discusses news, social issues and what it’s like to raise a family in the 21st century. Her aim is to make you think.