Old Friends. New Blends.

brooklyn bridge park

It’s the last week of school for my kids (finally). It’s been a long year. Full of progress. Full of promise. These little people are so much bigger than they were in September.

Last night, we gathered with Jasper’s class for a picnic in the park. I sat there and watched as the kids played – soccer and frisbee, shooting rockets  into the sky, building a hide-out under a tree with big, swooping branches. I watched as Jasper played with friends that he made this year, friends that he grew closer to during the year, and friends that he has known since preschool.

We find out on Thursday who will be his 2nd grade teacher and with that, we’ll find out who will remain in class together and who will be split apart. Depending on the outcome, there might be some tears, but they’ll move on, right? They’re resilient, right?

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Friendships are a funny thing. When we’re young, we become friends with the children of our parents’ friends. In preschool, everyone in your class is a friend. You only really care about running around on the playground, creating messy art projects together or playing with the blocks/cars/dress-up together.

At some point, you start to choose the people you want to be friends with. Some of these people you know are kind of like placeholders in your life while others you know are keepers.

Graduation

In high school, I grew close to six women. We lived together my Junior year (I went to boarding school). The crazy thing was that I only really knew one of them before moving in together. It was a leap of faith to agree to live with these other women, who I didn’t really know, in a small house.

It could have turned out horrible — fighting over common space and belongs and food on the fridge and music that was too loud. But it didn’t. We managed to find an ease being together. We became surrogate family to each other. For me, these friends became my lifeline at school and during a time which my mother describes, in retrospect, as “incredibly angsty”.

I didn’t expect that we would all stay in touch after graduation, but we did. Some relationships taking greater prominence than others. Others ebbing back and forth with the swing of time. But the bind has always been there.

A few weekends ago, we (minus one who couldn’t make it) gathered on campus for our 20th high school reunion.  It was odd to be back, so many years removed. The familiar paths that I’ve walked countless times. The butterflies in my belly that took flight immediately upon seeing the bell tower rise up in the distance. It’s amazing how quickly you can feel yourself revert back to that inner teenager but now, you’re inhabiting an older, more mature (and wiser?) body and mind. It’s a weird juxtaposition.

reunion

There was so much comfort in being with my friends — friends who have seen me at my lowest and carried me through, friends who have seen me at my highest. There was no pretense. We could just be with each other. No forced conversation. Just be.

me and Jolene

Coincidentally, that weekend, I met up with new friends Jolene  and Jess - friends who I met through blogging and social media. Blends {Blogger + Friend = Blend}

That’s another leap of faith — making friends with people online. Because, I mean seriously, you never know, right? You’re taking a leap of faith that the person that you communicate with through blog comments and 140 character snippets will be someone with whom you can communicate with in full sentences and in person.

Luckily, they were just as advertised. Maybe better. I did meet Jolene briefly last fall but I hadn’t met Jess before or their husbands. The five of us shared a delicious dinner together and it was so fun to sit and talk in person. We easily related to each other on many different things. And it struck me again, how people come into and out of your life.

{I was also treated to an epic barre fusion class at barre n9ne with Jolene. OMG arms, abs and legs were quaking! But it was amazing to see her in her element, doing her thing that she loves so much.}

I hope that my kids experience the serendipity of good friends over and over again.

How have your friendships shifted? Have you met any online friends in person?

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Whoa, what a cool experience to see your old roomies again! I kind of had an experience like that a few years ago when I met up with some old high school friends and we decided to go visit our old teacher (we were all homeschooled in her garage…weird thing). To sit in that living with room with our teacher and my two friends was nuts; familiar and strange at the same time. :-D
    Running Hutch recently posted..Runcation Supplies!My Profile

  2. says

    That is awesome that you keep in touch with your old roomies like that! There are a handful of my old friends that I have not seen in years. We are all over the country and just haven’t been able to schedule anything at the right time. Maybe my 20 year reunion….gah!!!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Let Go of FearMy Profile

  3. says

    It’s so natural to worry about our kids and their friendships. I know they are resilient though:) I have a few key friends from college, girls who were my roommates for a year and who saw me struggle with anorexia and bulimia and were an amazing support system. We are still friends, but now everyone is far flung (Turkey, Colorado, California). I feel like whenever I find a close friend I move or they move and then the friendship changes because we don’t keep in touch. I do have two sisters though who are dear, dear friends:)
    Sarah @runfargirl recently posted..New Tanks and a Sale!My Profile

  4. says

    Oh this is so true and at the forefront of my mind as well, as my kids enter kindergarten!!! I still have two very close friends from high school and several others who I stay in touch with – not to mention my college friends. I have absolutely LOVED meeting blends and I cannot wait to meet a whole bunch more at FitBloggin this year!
    Allie recently posted..Happy New Year – Reverse ResolutionsMy Profile

  5. says

    aww!! I love this post! not just because I am in it hehe, but because I TOTALLY know what you mean about old friends and picking up where you left off, but also worrying that maybe it would NOT be that way, for some reason, and harder to reconnect. I loved our time together and it was even more fun than our coffee date in NYC ;-) So much more! and I am so so SO glad you took class with me and that you loved it. that seriously made my WEEK :) XOXOXO!
    Jolene recently posted..Embrace who you are, rather than rail against it.My Profile

  6. says

    There is something so special about old friends! They know your story and there’s no time wasted on the small talk, get to know you stuff… you can just pick up right where you left off. I have 2 best friends from high school and one from college who I still keep in touch with regularly and it is so refreshing to get together when we can. Love that you could see your friends!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..6 summer salads to break out of the lunch rutMy Profile

  7. says

    Great post. I often reflect on the friendships I have in my life. I tend to hold tight to a special few while keeping looser friendships with many others. At this stage in my life, it’s those neighborhood friends with whom I am raising a village that tend to be font and center. It’s definitely a special bond–we will/have shared many laughs and tears along this path!
    Misszippy recently posted..From heel strike to mid-foot strike and back again?My Profile

  8. says

    I love how you talk about your friendships shifting and blooming, at a time when it’s happening for your sons in different ways.
    Well you know I’ve met online friends in person! I think now it’s… 10-20 or so. All wonderful, really. It is weird that I have so many friends who “live in my computer”, as Scarlet would say.
    Scarlet is going into kindergarten so I am so aware of all the changes on the horizon right now!
    Tamara recently posted..Famous People & Cats I Have Loved.My Profile

  9. says

    So sweet! My best friend is the one friend I kept from college. There’s just something about the people who knew you when you were just figuring out who you are that is so special.
    Tricia recently posted..So big and so smallMy Profile

  10. says

    Ah, friendships. My favorite topic. Many of my bestest friends live in different countries, so we don’t see or talk to each other as much as we used to, or would love to. So many life events that we only witness online, but I don’t feel like our bonds have weakened.

    Then there are the new friends I’ve met over the last few years through blogging and social media, and for that, I am so grateful. I just feel so tethered online and offline.

    I’m glad you have those real life connections, from your past and present!
    Alison recently posted..Said No One EverMy Profile

  11. says

    Your timing is crazy. I was just thinking about this last weekend. Friendships seem to be something I need to work on. I get so engrossed in life that I have a hard time to make time for the friends that have been around so long. This was a great reminder for me to touchbase with them. Thanks!
    Katie recently posted..Loving/Not LovingMy Profile

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