friendWhy DID We Have Kids?

“Mom, why did you and Dad have kids?” Sarah asked a few years ago.

“Because we knew that when you guys became adults we’d have two awesome friends.” I quipped.A friendships is a delicate thing-when to start one with your kids.

“But didn’t you tell us that we couldn’t be friends?” Sarah reminded me.

“No. We said we couldn’t be friends until you’re 18 and out of high school.”

“Oh, yeah,” she said.

“Kids need boundaries and mentoring. They don’t need the burden of having an adult treat them like a best friend.”

“True,” she agreed. “But we’re friends now, right?”

“Absolutely!” I assured her. “I consider you one of my best friends. Laura is my other one.”

And it’s true. Laura and Sarah have become awesome friends. We have a shared history of trauma and joy, miracles and madness, and they are the two people I most want to hang out with (other than Pedro).

They have seen me at my worst (and hopefully a few times at my best), and they still love me. A good friend will know everything about you—and still love you anyway.

A good #friend knows everything about you and still loves you anyway! Click To Tweet

Of course, the problem with having children who eventually become your friends is that they grow up and move away right about the time you really start to develop the friendship.

Fast-forward a few years to last week. As we sat around the campfire in the desert near Moab, UT, the laughter of our family filled me with a deep sense of satisfaction. Our grandson slept on the bed in our trailer, and the five adults watched the flames dance and sparks pop as conversations swirled and eddied.

Friends for Life

Sarah’s spring break only overlapped two days with ours, and she drove from Washington to Utah to spend one night with us. The next morning she would travel to Tulsa to spend a week with Laura, Louis, and Abel.

We won’t gather together again until Christmas time, when we’ll meet Sarah’s fiancée for the first time.

In the meantime we call, text, and Facetime. We’ll see Laura and her family in the middle of April when we visit them in Tulsa for a long weekend. I’ll see Sarah at the end of April when I attend my 30th reunion at Walla Walla University (I’m still marveling at the fact that I graduated 30 years ago).

Laura and Sarah cheer me on in my creative endeavors (and they’ll even go birding with me). They caution me about movies I probably wouldn’t enjoy, make suggestions about books they think I’ll love, and go on crazy adventures with me. Both girls make me a better person because they keep me from feeling defeated or old.

I don’t have a close friend that lives near me (my definition of a close friend is one who gets my quirky sense of humor and isn’t high-maintenance). But I do have Laura and Sarah. Sure, I’ll always be their mother, but I have the privilege of calling each of them ‘my friend’ now.

Q4U: Do you have a special friendship with a family member? How has that friendship made you a better person?

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