By Jessica T
Perfect friendsUploaded: Jan 6, 2014
Parenting doesn't always weather friendships well. I learned this when my daughter was born, and we had a bitter falling out with close friends. We were polar opposites as parents. And while that alone wasn't enough to drive us apart, it was certainly a factor.
As we all know, parenting can also be the basis of some of our deepest adult friendships. My parents' closest friends to this day are a couple whose daughter was in my second-grade class.
I rekindled a friendship with one of my best friends from middle school when my first daughter was born. She had a son several months older and brought him and her dog for a visit to our Virginia hilltop home. A year later she was pregnant with twins. I spoke on the phone with her occasionally and encouraged her to take it easy and keep those babies inside for as long as possible.
Once my friends' healthy twins were born (and my husband and I were taking turns attending graduate school without a dime to rub together), she invited us to vacation with her family in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Our parenting philosophies weren't identical, but they were similar enough - every night we put the kids to bed, made elaborate home-cooked meals, and enjoyed the time as adults. One summer we had an exciting visit from a bear who smelled the chocolate I had melted on the stove for brownies.
Throughout the years, I sent my friend care packages to remind her to take time out for herself as a stay-at-home mom of three. I sent her white and green teas. She sent me fertility talismans, year after year. And we always exchanged music. After all, music (a fascination with the Doors in particular) had formed our common bond as teenagers.
I remember calling her on the way to the doctor one day last fall to tell her that I was expecting twins (a boy and a girl) who would be 9 years younger than her own. She blurted out, "Is this a joke?"
Months after my twins were born, I was feeling overwhelmed by housework when a package from my friend arrived. This time, it was a care package for me - complete with caramels and an amazing mix cd. "Man, she should be a DJ," my husband exclaimed. Within a few songs, I was restored to myself.
We have another set of friends who are also the parents of boy/girl twins. Like my childhood friend, we knew these friends long before we knew we would follow suit. These are the friends that convinced us that yes, we should just do it and go home for the holidays this year. These are the friends who met us at Cafe Borrone a few weeks ago and declared they were taking the twins off our hands while we went home to sleep. (For the record, I had showered that day, but I think I still managed to have what my husband calls "Crazy woman in the attic hair.")
A few hours and a perfect afternoon nap later, they strolled our babies home and declared they were taking our oldest for a sleepover, and Indian takeout would arrive for dinner any minute. It's a strange coincidence that our perfect friends also have 3 kids including fraternal twins. But I don't think that's why we are friends. They are true friends because they care and go out of their way to show you what that means.
Do you have perfect friends? What special characteristics do they have?