(photo credit: Friendship, Lions by Dirk-Jan Kraan on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
We were eating dinner at the best Vietnamese restaurant in the world, which happens to be in our town, when my friend leaned in to me and said that this was the best birthday celebration ever.
Earlier in the evening, at a different locale, where we participated in a champagne tasting, my friend mentioned how lucky she felt to have the friends that she has. When we started discussing what made the friendships special, it struck me that in many ways, it is quite random that we know each other and have become such close friends.
Back when our children were infants, we lived in the same neighborhood, and by nature of the place we were in our lives (mothers of infants), we found each other. Three of us. Each with a child born in 1996. Two of us with second children born in 1998. All of us with husbands born in the town in which we live, while none of the women grew up here. The husbands all went to different schools and are different ages, so while they may have met each other or had known siblings of the others in the past, they really didn’t know each other until the three of us became neighborhood friends.
It fascinates me how we can connect with people because we need them and then discover the things about them that keep the connection alive and growing stronger. Jane and Cheryl and I are all quite different, as are our children, but we (and our kids) find so many places where we are the same, where we care about the same things, where we love each other. And, of course, we have a boatload of shared experiences after nineteen years together as friends.
Had my husband and I not moved to Massachusetts from New Hampshire, had we not moved into this neighborhood, had we not had our children when we did, it is likely that we would never have met these two couples who are among our closest friends. I suppose we would have found others that would have become those people in our lives, but the idea of that is so hard to grasp.
It seems impossible that somebody could fill Jane’s or Cheryl’s shoes. Or, for that matter, any of the shoes of any of the people in my life whom I love.
So maybe it isn’t random after all. Maybe we ended up where we did, at the time that we did, among the people that we did because of some force outside our understanding. I like that idea, that we were drawn together because something bigger than ourselves knew we would make for good companions.
Whatever the case, I feel lucky, as my friend said she did, that we found each other. Very, very lucky.
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