Friendship is the most powerful bond

Friendship is the most powerful bond

Photo By: Annie Frietsch

Recognizing differences and seeing friendship as a fluid process is how connections thrive. Mothers have an opportunity to watch their daughters create meaningful connections while also teaching them how to make friendships that are worthwhile. When things are constantly changing, it is clear what has remained constant through it all.

Maddie Davis and I go back to kindergarten. We went on family vacations, watched SpongeBob and played Subway Surfers on our iPads. I could not think of two better people to talk to about the importance of long-term friendship than our mothers who have watched us grow up: Donna Davis and Cathy Frietsch. They are smart and kind women who have a lot to say about motherhood, friendship and growing up.

I was discussing childhood memories with Mrs. Davis, and she brought up how special it is to keep your golden friends. 

“I think that when you are a young person, your fears, personalities, and interests are just developing,” said Davis. “They can go anywhere; left, right, up, down, and you just never know how that is going to work out. And so, hopefully, if you’re lucky enough, you have friends that do the up, down, left, right…Because you’re all learning what you want to be and who you want to be. And sometimes those [things] don’t always interact. And so with you, Maddie and some of your other friends, you’ve been very lucky that you’ve been able to go in those different directions, and still be able to coincide and get along. Sometimes that’s not the way it works.”

People never stop growing. All friendship is made up of two people bouncing off each other, so it takes both luck and effort to keep that ball bouncing through the different paths you both take. Long-term friendships are not placeholders or people you can depend on for a moment in time. They are designed to be forever.

Davis began talking about her friendship with my mom, and she said, “Your mom and I, we’re simpatico in very many ways. And we, as well as you and Maddie, have grown with that, ‘okay, so we aren’t like each other, but there’s something about the two of us that works well together.’ And so, as parents, (it’s not any different than you as adolescents) you have to learn how to work that out. We have grown as friends of our daughters, just like you have grown as friends of each other. It’s a bit of a moving target. It’s ok that your lives are going to be a little bit different. But you got to be open minded to those changes.”

It appears that open-mindedness creates more meaningful connections. Accepting what people have to offer and recognizing someone else’s journey is how to let them into your heart. This also allows you to find a spot in theirs.

I asked my mom about what all it meant to be a mother who can see herself in her daughter. She still thinks of us as six-year-olds in our school uniforms. When it came to her open-mindedness in being part of my life, she thoughtfully said, “One of the most important things when your daughter is getting friendships, regardless if she’s three or if she’s 13, is to allow her to embrace all the friendships that she has. Do allow her to have friendships with everybody that she chooses, and support those friendships…one day you’ll understand that every friendship that your daughter has will help her down the line regardless if you understand what it is they each bring to each other…Everybody brings more flavor to this situation.” And to that, I agree.

Each person knows a perfectly unique web of people from all the places they have been. I mean, in the end, all we have is each other, so it is entirely crucial to think about the friendships that brought you to where you are now. Friendships should free you to be who you want to be. They should add flavor, as my mom says, to the big soup of your life.

I hope everyone gets to experience the mundane events of their lives with people that make it all fun. That is all you could ever ask for.